Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Right place at the right time...

Friday after work I decided to walk home with my colleagues Guido & Morgen. On leaving the clinic I thought it would be fun to say hello to a family that lives just down the road, since I hadn't seen them since my return. It's the family we always pass when we go for our walks/runs; the three kids are adorable.

The youngest child was born in January with a congenital problem which fortunately could be helped surgically at an NGO hospital. Since then he has come to the clinic with various complaints. A couple of months ago we diagnosed him with an inguinal (abdominal) hernia. Fortunately the hernia could be easily reduced and surgery was not needed.

So Friday afternoon we stopped by the family's little shack to say hello. The two oldest kids (about 3 and 5 years) were so excited to see us, they giggled with glee. It was so cute! I asked about the baby and they pointed to the shack. Just so you know, this is the same family that lost their father/husband only a few months ago.

I saw mom sitting with the child and excitedly asked how he was doing only to be surprised by her response: "not well". Apparently the swelling in his groin started again that night, he was crying a lot, not breastfeeding, and started vomiting. That didn't sound good. There I was in a dark shack, finishing up my Krio history taking and about to exam the baby, which I decided to do outside in the light. Sure enough, there was a very large swelling but this time I could not reduce the hernia, meaning the hernial contents could not be returned to their normal site. Not good. An irreducible hernia is life threatening. So, even though it was 5pm on a Friday I had to refer, which meant going back to the center, writing a referral letter and then sending the child and mom off to the NGO surgical center, praying that they would be let in.

I was in the right place at the right time. That's how a spur of the moment drop-in visit turned into a consultation which ended in referral. Within two hours the little boy went from being held in his mom's arms in their little shack to lying on an operating room table at the surgical center 30 minutes away. If I hadn't stopped to visit, it could have ended very differently...

PS: He was discharged yesterday and I went by again today and he looks great!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and you wonder if you make a difference!!!???
This so confirms, yet once again, like so many other things, that even though I'd selfischly rather have you here than there, you are in the RIGHT place, In God's will. And he is literally leading you in the right direction. Keep it up!
We'll be praying for you these next days as the elections are coming up
Love you

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