Monday, October 4, 2010

Miracle Children

Frida, 18 months old, had a high fever and was unresponsive when she was admitted to the hospital. Diagnosed with streptococcal pneumonia and meningitis, we were not sure she would survive intact, if she survived at all. Frida was in a coma for five days, her worried mother at her side. Pole, pole (slowly, slowly), she began to respond to IV antibiotics and fluids. A week later, her smiling mama was able to take Frida home.

Three-year-old Eunice came in the same week with oral thrush and an erratic heartbeat. HIV-positive at birth, she weighed 7 kgs (15.4 pounds) on admission. She is dressed in a voluminous 18-month-sized going-home sweatsuit in the photo above. She was severely dehydrated, cachectic and lethargic. Her mother told us that Eunice had been eating only 2 T of barley water every day for two months. It is difficult to access veins in dehydrated patients, especially in dehydrated children, but we were fortunate. We taught Eunice's mama to administer anti-fungal Clotrimazole drops for the thrush, and our nurses slowly administered IV fluids, ORS (oral rehydration salts) and eventually high-protein eggnog through a feeding tube. Thankfully, we had no power outages during Eunice's admission; the "Kangaroo pumps" that our Boston friends brought us last year saved her life. Within a week, Eunice, too, was able to go home, once again able to eat and take her medications orally. She and Frida are our miracle children.

Violet, 17, was brought to the hospital by our friends at Christ's Hope. It was her third admission in six weeks. She is HIV-positive and takes her drugs faithfully but suffers from CHF and micronodular hepatomegaly. When she arrived, Violet had severe dyspnea and distended neck veins. She was struggling to breathe. We administered aldactone and IV lasix, but she diuresed only 2 kgs. Over the course of seven days, Dr. Hardison removed 4000 mls. of fluid from her chest via thoracentesis. She is more comfortable now and will soon be discharged. But the harsh reality is that she would be on a heart transplant list in the U.S. That is not an option for her in Kenya. Violet needs a miracle.

Cornell, 18, also needs a miracle. His older sister brought him to the hospital. He was admitted with a severe headache, papilledema, 3+ proteinuria and a blood pressure of 200/130. His malignant hypertension is a longstanding condition, and he is now in full-blown renal failure. Cornell needs dialysis and a kidney transplant to survive. That cannot happen here. Please pray for these children and their families.

1 comment:

Nancy Rowe said...

Keep putting those flip flops down, one step at a time. May God give you all an extra dose of HIS warmth and encouragement today. You are a blessing! God bless