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Back in business…but solo…

March 16, 2011

Answered prayers! My lens was fixed and is back in action! So I’ll try to upload a ton of pictures today. Thanks to Matthews, I got a great deal on the repair, and he lent me his small pocket camera which will make it easier to take pictures in the OR. I love my D300, but I get a little nervous about setting it down in the OR for big cases–partly because I may forget it!

The past two days have been topsy-turvy. YesterdayGinnie continued to work with the echo techs and Dr. Myra Koech (see photo below with Myra and Ginnie seated). We then had lunch with Myra and her husband Florentius who is a neurosurgeon here at MTRH. They make a wonderful addition to the specialty services at Moi. It’s amazing to see there dedication to this hospital. They could have higher paying jobs elsewhere, but they feel called to serve here despite all the challenges which they freely acknowledge are here. It certainly gives hope to Ginnie & me.

The rest of yesterday was crazy. Dr. Matthews went shopping in town with Ginnie for a while. Then Ginnie came back to work on her presentation for today, while Matthews kept shopping into the night. I was in the OR from 3:30 pm to 11:30 pm assisting with two exploratory surgeries for two sick children. Then we also did bilateral burr holes in the skull of an older man with chronic sub-dural hematomas. It’s amazing how much the medical officers are left on their own here. Needless to say, I am not fully trained to do these procedures from US residency. So it’s a big learning curve for me. Thankfully, Birech the medical officer is great to work with. He is pictured below in his OR scrubs.

We’ve had another nice encounter with a Kenyan that we have only known from afar. Her name is Emily Choge, a PhD lecturer in religion and philosophy down the road from town at Moi Unversity (also known as the main campus). Emily received her PhD from Fuller in California and is considered a great success story as a former student of Chester and Delores Wood long serving missionaries to Nairobi, Kenya. We finally met Emily and her husband in person for dinner.

We thought everything was on schedule for a slow day today with Ginnie & Dr. Matthews preparing to leave in the evening on the Eldoret flight. Imagine everyone’s surprise when we were told that they were supposed to have left on the morning flight! There was a brief scramble around, but fortunately one of the IU drivers was assigned to drive Ginnie & Matthews to Nairobi. The roads were fairly smooth, and they made good time to Nairobi only to arrive in rush hour traffic. Which means moving 10 km in an hour if you are lucky. Thankfully they made it to the airport by around 7:30pm after a very long trip and are now boarding the international carrier. They also met up with Steve Telian (remember him the ENT from Michigan who we met at Tenwek?). Steve is coincidentally traveling back on the same flight. It’s great to have some company on the long trip home. Hopefully, I will have the same fortune.

The hospital remains busy. Patients on the ward wait two weeks for an operation, because there are so many emergencies. I took a picture of two medical officers resected a segment of dead colon in a young man. He was a least the third emergency of the day and it was only 4 pm.

To close:
Please pray for safe travels for Matthews, Ginnie and Steve. A good re-entry for Ginnie with the kids.

Wisdom for me in how to best integrate into the Kenyan surgical system

Updates:

Micah remains stable on the vent. His family and parents thank everyone for their prayers and support. Will keep everyone posted on his status

The kids are doing well and had a great visit with Yvonne and Cico, given Melissa, Nancy and Caleb a brief respite

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Val Anderson permalink
    March 17, 2011 2:17 pm

    Hello Aaron. Glad to see you are doing well and Ginnie is safely on her way home. Thinking of you today on your Esther’s birthday. Wish we could see you all sometime soon. Take care and all God’s blessings in your wonderful work. Thanks for updating the blog so regularly, we enjoy it so much. Love you, Val and Bob

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