Sunday, May 15, 2011

Namina's admission on the Africa Mercy...

My connection with Namina began over two years ago, on the 21st of January 2009, when she came to the Aberdeen clinic for the first time. To be honest, when I first saw her I doubted that there was anything I could do. (see post: Tears for Namina) I was wrong. It was true I would not be able to fix the large hole in the left side of her face but together with my nurses we were able to stop the infection, clean out the wound and get the healing process started. The process had its ups and downs. Namina often cried during the wound care, and her mom often did as well. It was hard for Wara to see her daughter suffer so much. (see post: Monday's thoughts) However, after intensive wound care, multiple days a week, for a number of months, as well as providing nutritional support, the tissue settled down and the hole began to close. Seeing as the hole would never fully close on it’s own and she could no longer open her mouth due to damage to her jaw, surgery was still needed. So, Namina and her mom waited, patiently, until they heard in 2010 that the Africa Mercy would be arriving in Freetown in 2011.

Finally, on the 27th of February the ship arrived in Freetown and I was able to make arrangements for Namina’s admission and surgery. Then on the 5th of March I traveled to Namina’s village, to let her know the surgery had been scheduled, and she was to be admitted the following week! The entire family was delighted. This is the news we had all been waiting for, for over two years. Finally, on Monday the 14th of March Namina, her mother and her younger brother, Ibrahim, made their way from Bailor town to Freetown and came to the Children’s Hospital. The time had come. We were excited and a little nervous as we headed off to the ship for Namina’s admission. I felt privileged to be a part of the admissions process and I think Wara appreciated it as well, and she was happy to send me off to the lab with Namina for her blood tests! Having built up a relationship with Namina and Wara over the years, it was amazing to be a part of this important moment in their lives. With a thankful heart I left them onboard, and walked back to the Children’s Hospital. In two days, I would be back to watch her surgery…

Waiting in the lab
Pre-operative blood testing.
A balloon to make up for the finger stick.

Wara's fingerprint for consent for Namina's surgery.
Wrapping up the admissions process.
Namina's mom, Wara, and her little brother, Ibrahim.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow San! This is amazing!!! I am so proud that you were part of changing this girl's life and probably saving her life as well by all the support and woundcare!!
Your story made me cry! and touched my heart....Sometimes I am a tiny bit jealous of you doing your thing out there! What we do here in the west seems so futile sometimes....
Keep it up! These are the "knipoogjes uit de hemel" you know!!
Love you, Maris

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