Monday, June 20, 2005

Mother comes back to say thank you...

A few weeks ago a lady came into the clinic with her 3 year old daughter who had a high fever and was very weak (lethargic) – not even able to sit up. Right away I knew that she was very sick and would need referral. At a time like that it is very difficult to decide whether or not to go ahead and get some lab work done or to refer her right away. I decided to check her blood sugar and do a rapid test for malaria…within a few minutes I had the results- malaria! The next decision was whether or not to start treatment or get her to the referral center as quickly as possible. A call to the doctor at the referral center confirmed my idea- to send her their way immediately. So while I gave medicine to reduce the fever, someone else was waving down a taxi and negotiating the price. Soon the mother was in the taxi with the child and I continued the clinic. During clinic I was of course wondering if she made it to the referral center...on time. After clinic that day I called the referral center and heard that the little girl had made it, and iv treatment had been started. Two days later I went to visit the little girl- she had been improving initially but had now slipped into a coma. That was very discouraging. The mother was sitting next to the bed, happy to see us, but without hope in her eyes. We could only tell her that we were hoping for the best. Looking at the little girl lying there in a coma made me wonder if I could have done anything more for her at the clinic. Leaving there, I knew we had to pray for the best. Five days after visiting the girl, I called again, not knowing what to expect. And amazingly enough the doctor told me that the little girl was doing well. She had pulled through! She ended up staying at the referral center for another 5 days until she had fully recovered. A couple of days after the child was discharged her mom brought her back to our clinic…to say thanks. I told her I was very sorry that we weren’t able to do more for her; since all I really did was refer the child. The mother said that she was grateful that we were able to help the way we did; even if she didn’t get the treatment at our clinic, we helped to get her to the right place. It was great to see her daughter walk into the clinic with a big smile on her face. Sometimes I still get frustrated because I want to be able to do more for patients, and I guess I need to realize that even though at times it may seem like I am not doing much, I am doing something…and something can make a lot of difference.

follow up visit...child doing well!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sandra, I just now caught up with your website after not visiting for a while!You've been busy - and I love the variety of info you've been posting. The food sounds yummy (but I'll have to agree, the potatoe leaves don't sound too great!), LOVE seeing the photos, and I'm rejoicing with you over the recovery of your little malaria patient! Keep up the good work - we all love you and miss you lots. And I'm so very proud of you and what you are doing!
Love, Terri and the gang

Anonymous said...

Just to say we love you

Ellen said...

Lieve San, dit verhaal maakt me aan het huilen! We denken aan jullie en bidden wekelijks voor jullie hier in Spanje, liefs Ellen :)

Bing Henderson said...

Great job, Sandra.

Tommy,his son Nick, and Karen all left this morning for a vacation at the beach. I think often of Lumley beach!

Bless you!

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~