Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A trip to the Boonies

We are extremely blessed to be able to offer free tubal ligations and vasectomies to our patients this year through partnerships with two organizations: one to pay the $100/patient charge and the other to provide the operations. The results have been astounding as many older moms (as in, over 27y/o) are coming to our clinic for the first time, hoping they can get their tubes tied after they deliver.

Getting ready to go home from the hospital with a 3.5lb baby
2 week visit
One such mom is Divine. She is the one who caught me in the halls of a government hospital while I was visiting another patient. She had come to our clinic with signs of premature labor at 28 weeks. After confirming her baby was indeed only 28 weeks gestational age and that her body was indeed preparing to give birth like a roaring train barreling down a hill, I sent her to the hospital, praying they could help her. After 10 days, she saw me as she was on her way out the door to head home. Wow!

Home visit at 3 weeks old
Nervous that a 3.5lb baby was going home, I asked her to bring baby Jasmine to Shalom every week so we could take her weight and assess her. We saw her for two weeks, then they seemingly dropped off the face of the earth and my heart became heavy for them. After numerous texts, I finally received one back after 10 days...her husband had no work and they could not afford the $1 to take public transportation to our clinic.

Family centered care is the only (wonderful!) option
So I grabbed our staff nurse and my intern and off we went. Quite the adventure as we piled in a motorcycle with a side car, then a jeep, got off at the wrong place and then walked about an hour to get to Divine's humble home. Praise God, Jasmine was doing great! While we were there, Divine asked again about ligation. Jasmine is her sixth and they cannot afford more kids. We got her on the schedule.

Cleaning Divine's infected incision in their home by flashflight
I was out of the country on the day she was ligated, but as soon as I got back I sent her a text asking for an update. "Jasmine is fine, but I'm not! My incision from the ligation is infected!" This time I drove to her house to assess her wound and switch her antibiotics.

I saw her again yesterday and she is doing much better. Please pray for Jasmine, Divine, and her whole family as they strive to make ends meet and provide for their family!