Today was a difficult day. We arrived in Susu and were informed of the death of a sweet little girl Naomi. Naomi was 2 years old and had hydrocephalus and a cleft palate. Her mother had moved to Susu to live with her Grandmother after her husband left her claiming Naomi was not his. This is common in Africa for father's to deny children with special needs. Naomi's mother was young and had no one but she was blessed by her Grandmother and the community of Susu. I was able to pray with Naomi and her mother on Sunday in church. One of the other nurses Brittany had gone with our host from Hands at Work Robyn to assess Naomi on Monday. Monday was a good day for Naomi she had one of her best days in a long time which made it difficult to hear she passed in her sleep last night. The funeral started today and Robyn and Brittany were able to attend and have built an amazing relationship with the mother and able to give her a lot of support. Our team also collected an offering and we were able to buy a coffin for the burial which will take place tomorrow.
The rest of us had to continue on and assess the needs of the sick and vulnerable that would not be able to make it in to clinic. Today I was with Erin. She is truly an amazing nurse who is very intelligent and has a lot of compassion for the needy. We first went to a home where a little girl around the age of 2 or 3 had a large burn to her lower leg from a fire that caught to her dress. We were able to assess it, clean it, and dress it. We also provided pain medication and an antibiotic. They were so appreciative because we also left them wound care supplies and education on how to care for the wound. Hopefully the little girl will come to clinic Friday so we can see the progress. At that same home we assessed her Grandmother who was complaining of high blood pressure and pain in her knees to the point she now scoots or tries to crawl when she needs to get some where. She is no longer able to get to the clinic to get her medication. The closest clinic is called St. Pauls and would be approx. a 10 kilometer walk from her home. A lot of her pain seemed to be arthritis in her knees and in the states she would most likely be getting a double knee replacement. It is hard to think about how easy we can access medical care at home but feel as though we can do nothing in Susu. We provided some BP medication for her and also some pain medication so for a short time hopefully she has some relief and comfort. We also prayed for healing over her and her granddaughter because truly the ultimate healer is God.
We walked further on and met with another family who had many needs. The grandmother had just returned a few days earlier from Lusaka about a 3 hour drive from Susu and she had been staying in the hospital there. She was diagnosed with what was described as pericarditis and this is where I was glad I had Erin with me :) She is an excellent Cardiac nurse and she was able to educate and provide them with a lot of information. She was on all the right medications from Lusaka hospital which was encouraging however there was still not a lot of other treatment we could provide. We also treated her husband who had a wound on his foot from dropping something on it at work. I was able to clean It and give him some supplies to keep it covered. The wound did not appear to be infected which amazes me considering they don't typically have shoes on. Then we got to see their grandson and assess his cough. He was so cute at first I thought he told me his name was King Darius but it's just Darius. However I thought King sounded pretty fitting for him and will always remember him as King Darius :)
Overall it was a good day in the homes. Even what seems so small can plant seeds and leave a huge impact on people. When you are in Susu I really can feel God's presence and know that he is leading me. Brittany reported that the funeral went well and they know this was God's timing and sweet Naomi is now healthy and rejoicing in heaven.
We came back to a lodge with no electricity and no water. I did go a little in to panic mode. We still had several medications to pack for clinic tomorrow and the sun set is about 5:30 so it would soon be dark. Our team pulled together and worked hard packing pills and preparing. We pulled out our book lights, head lamps, and a lantern and worked hard that evening. The lights did eventually come back on and fortunately stayed on. We spent until 1:30 in the morning packing meds. Time for bed and rest!!