I have been back from Cameroon for a few weeks now. A week and a half after I got back I took off to the coast with most of the other Tenwek missionaries for a retreat, a time of rest and spiritual renewal. I will write about life back at Tenwek soon but first I want to share with you some more about my time in Cameroon.
I was thankful for the three weeks I spent at Mbingo. It was good to get to know the staff there and help out where I could as they do not yet have an ICU and ventilators operating. I was able to bring them a bipap machine. A bipap machine gives pressure via a mask to help patients oxygenate better and make their breathing easier. During my time at Mbingo, there were two ladies who probably would not have survived if they had not been able to use that machine.
I heard about the first patient over supper from the OB doctor. He talked about a lady who was about to deliver. This mom has a heart defect that is so bad she developed something called Eisenminger Syndrome. Delivering a baby with this condition has a 50% chance of mortality for the mother. When I heard about this lady my first question was – does she know The Lord? That evening before her c-section she accepted Christ as her saviour. The next day the OB team delivered the baby who was thankfully healthy. Mom did OK for the first few days but after about a week she developed massive pulmonary edema. We were able to help her breathing with the bipap giving medications time to work. She was on the bipap for a few days and was than able to go home to her family. She still has heart and lung problems but hopefully she will be able to be a mother for her children for a few more years. I am thankful that this lady was given life both in Christ and here on earth.
The second lady went on the bipap machine two hours after the first lady came off. I had not yet packed it away as I was not sure if the first patient would still need it. However, the second patient was also in severe pulmonary edema. Her kidneys had shut down and she had not made urine for a few days. Her blood pressure was extremely high and the extra fluid was flooding her lungs. I placed her on the bipap and shewas immediately breathing easier. The machine kept her alive long enough so we could get some fluid off, her blood pressure improved and her lungs stopped flooding. By morning she was smiling and feeling better. I pray her kidneys start to work on their own.
I find God’s timing amazing, had these ladies come in a few weeks earlier they would probably have not survived. I was bringing in a machine that they had not used before, I had the opportunity to show it to the nursing students I was teaching and then I had the opportunity to show how well the machine can work. As uncomfortable as the mask and machine sound and feel to a healthy individual we all saw first hand how a sick patient welcomes the assistance that the machine gave.
|Practicing putting the bipap on, I made a good patient.|
|The Bipap at work|