Friday, October 28, 2005

Trip home...

Good news- tonight I am going to the heliport to pick up doctor Jenny Vardy, who attended the tropical medicine course with me in Liverpool last year. She'll be working with me in the clinic for the next month and then she will cover for me while I am away.

So the greatest good news is that I have purchases my tickets! I will be in Holland from November 26th - December 19th. I'm really looking forward to the break and especially to the time I will be able to spend with family and friends. I will be home for my sister's 30th birthday and my niece's 1st birthday. Lots to look forward to.

Hope to catch up with some of you while in Holland!

M/V home for many years...

Today the Anastasis arrived in Liberia, for what could be her last outreach. I am not sure how many of you have heard the news- but the plan right now is that after this next outreach the Anastasis will be put 'out of service'. You can probably imagine that I was quite surprised by the news and that I have mixed feelings- I grew up on the ship and it is a strange thought that her mission could be over. However, I know that God knows best, and His ways are not always my ways. Here is the official report. If things change- I'll let you know!


GARDEN VALLEY, TEXAS, SEPTEMBER 1, 2005: Following the completion of a recent executive committee meeting, Mercy Ships Founder/President Don Stephens announced a new strategy for Mercy Ships in serving the poorest of the poor, with a renewed focus on the continent of Africa.

Stephens began by affirming the Anastasis is poised to commence field service to the nation of Liberia beginning 28 October. He continued, “We are looking forward to bringing hope and healing to this war ravaged nation with a hospital ship which concentrates on transformational development for individuals and communities in desperate need. Mercy Ships volunteers and crew have now been in active service for almost a quarter of a century, most of it to people of Africa living in extreme poverty.” Stephens continued by announcing in coordination with the launching of the Africa Mercy, the Anastasis will be taken out of service in mid-2006 to facilitate a concentrated focus of efforts and resources on the Africa Mercy, the newest generation of Mercy Ship.

“This new ship will have approximately twice the capacity of all our prior field assets combined. She will serve as the model going forward for the next generation of Mercy Ships”. He noted a study will be conducted on the future of the Anastasis, with an emphasis on the implications of new international technical standards taking effect in 2010. The two ships will join together in Ghana in May at which time crew and equipment will be added to the Africa Mercy as she begins her first season of service.

Mercy Ships is the leader in using hospital ships to deliver free world class health care services to the poor. Since 1978, Mercy Ships has performed more than 2 million services, with a value of $250 million. Each year more than 1,600 short-term volunteers serve with Mercy Ships.

For further information, contact:
Glenn Price
VP, Communications
Phone: (903) 939-7000

Monday, October 17, 2005

good and bad...

I am doing well- very busy - saw 44 patients today. The last few weeks have been crazy with some very sick patients. Unfortunately a few of them have not made it and died at the referral center- mainly due to malaria and anemia! Also a few malnutrition cases - a 1 1/2 year old girl, weighing 5 kg and severely dehydrated didn't make it after 4 days of hospitilization. Again, many of these conditions can be treated if the child reaches a health center sooner.

For some reason in the past week I have also seen more children with deformities (large tumors on their faces, scalp, cleft lips etc). People still seem to think that we can do everything that the ship could do. Well, I have to tell them that we can't. However, with the ship going to Liberia we have been able to schedule a few cases. One mom came with a 5 month old baby- born with no right eye and a cleft lip. She said her family thinks the child is bewitched and she is too ashamed to take him home. She almost begged me to write a note saying I was going to try to find help for the child. I look forward to meeting her again on Wednesday- so that I can tell her we have scheduled her child for surgery on the Anastasis mid November!

Another positive note- I diagnosed my first appendicitis here; a 5 year old boy with abdominal pain. The physical exam and lab work sure made me highly suspicious, so I referred to Emergency Center. A few days later the mom and child came back to the clinic. They said the ride out to emergency was pretty bad because the potholes sure made the boys belly hurt, however, they were seen right away at Emergency and the surgery was done within hours. A few days after that the surgeon confirmed that yes it was appendicitis.

As you can see there are good outcomes and bad outcomes. Plenty of things to deal with, be sad about and ponder upon, but also plenty of things to be thankful for!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Video clip...

I am sure many of you are curious as to what exactly I’m doing here.
Well, if you click on the following link, you might be able to get some footage on the clinic.
It might take some time, so have patience :)

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