Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Little Night Music

Drums were beating all night again. Voices raised in song were accompanied by clanging cowbells and shouts of encouragement as another soul was "sung to heaven." There are too many funerals these days. As Linet would say, "It's just too sad, Granny."

Friends at St. Andrew's, Edgartown, recently invited our intercessory prayers from Maseno, Kenya. The first list I sent included prayers for the sick. The second was a list of the dead (abridged below).

Please join us in prayer for a little less night music.

"We celebrated 'All Saints' and 'All Souls' Days three months ago, but I ask your prayers again today for people who have died. During the past week alone, we lost several patients before they were helped into beds on our wards.

Roselyne, 16, suffered a probable heart attack as a result of CHF and untreated thyrotoxicosis. Although she was accurately diagnosed four months ago in Mombasa, she was given no meds, just a follow-up appointment for March 4th.

Rhoda, 22, severely anemic and obviously septic, died before we could transfuse or treat her. We don't know why -- a ruptured appendix or ectopic pregnancy? We only know she had internal bleeding and a massive infection. No autopsies are performed here.

James, 41, died from rabies. He was bitten by a dog in October and went to a local healer at the time. He was admitted last week with only a localized "numbness" on his calf at the site of the injury. While I was still looking up "rabies" in Harrison's text, James died -- probably of the "paralytic" variety that I had never even seen. (The more familiar "furious" rabies accounts for 80% of the cases in the world. Both are fatal unless treated within days of the bite.)

Lastly, and most unnecessarily, two babies died of malaria. They simply arrived too late. Loice was 9 months old, Dishon, two years. Both had "three-plus" malaria and were severely anemic and dehydrated by the time they were admitted. If only they had had bed nets and/or had come to the hospital sooner…

When a patient dies at Maseno Mission Hospital, the nurse draws a cross on the front of the chart/file folder, then enters an initial in each quadrant around the cross. Left to right and top to bottom, the initials read 'RIPF' for 'Rest In Peace Forever.'

Thank you for praying with us -- for the living and for the dead. May families, friends and caregivers, as well as the deceased, know the comfort of God's loving arms. And may you know it, too."

No comments: