My apologies for skipping a day from blogging, however, when 10pm came last pm, I was flat out done. Wednesday night ended around midnight with me scrambling to find ortho supplies for the next day. Thursday saw four cases completed, including a four hour femur repair in a young man who is a believer. He had been struck on Sunday by a motorcycle that resulted in a displaced femur fracture just below his hip joint. God was gracious guiding our hands and minds and allowing for appropriate improvisation, that resulted in a fairly good repair, though I have nothing to compare this to...
Today was intended to be a mellow clinic day with early departure time, however, an 18 year old boy arrived with a terrible burn from one week ago involving a gasoline explosion. His family had tried village medicine which involved smearing the burns with grease and mud. He arrived in terrific pain with badly infEcted wounds and severely dehydrated. After giving him several liters of IV fluids, we took him to the OR, after seeing 12 patients in clinic. Three hours later we had cleaned his wounds and stripped away the dead skin and tissue. I had intended to get through this stay without tears in the OR, but halfway through the case, I suddenly pondered the magnitude and primal nature of this case and this boy's future, and felt the tears begin to well up in my eyes. Forcing the tears back I happened to look across the table from me and see the nurse who had offered to help me, and noticed he also had tears in his eyes. I stopped, put my hand on his hand and told him that God would be with this boy, and we stopped and said a short prayer. This seemed to energize both of us, and we completed the case efficiently. We had been playing music from my iPod on the Bose system in the OR the last few days, which has been a great hit. Just after we had completed the case, " Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin began to play, which we all agreed was a fitting ending.
The inpatient ward is full again. Most are improving, and others will improve with the Lord's help. My tour here is done except for rounds tomorrow morning. We leave early Sunday morning for the two day trek to Conakry, and then fly home Tuesday night. The guys and I all agree the trip has passed quickly, and that we will all return as different men. Many friendships have been formed, and others strengthened. God has been observed in many ways, and his power and grace evident in the lives of many.
Thank you all for your kind notes and prayers. We cannot truly express the timeliness of many of your responses. Hope Clinic is a good place to serve, and I hope that in the future we may be able to put together teams to serve both in the areas of medicine and future building projects as they hope to double the amount of inpatient rooms in the near future. We look forward to returning and catching up with many of you, to share pictures, stories, and what God has done.