Friday, August 18, 2017

Paradox Uganda

Once in a while I visit old blogs to catch up on my favorite online writers and personalities, many of them I haven't met but whose works have made me glad or deepened my passion for the things I do or should do—a habit I haven't gotten over, what with the fact that blogging is probably dead, or so most people think. (It's not.) One of these websites is Paradox Uganda, written by missionary doctors Scott and Jennifer Mhyre, whose love for the Lord has brought them to the unreached places in the world.

Here's a story that hits close to home, something I experience regularly: dealing with a patient who requires surgery for an infection that's hard to treat. Years before, we had to shell out our own money to get the much-needed antibiotics (yes, including meropenem, as in the story) immediately so that the patient didn't succumb to septic shock.

At Naivasha District Hospital, we don’t have the benefit of microbiologic cultures, so we could not culture any of the fluids or pus. We had no way of knowing what bacteria was causing this infection or which antibiotic would best fight the infection. But shortly before this event, Jennifer had sent a baby to Kijabe Hospital who was critically ill and beyond our capacity. They did blood cultures which grew a bacteria (Klebsiella) resistant to all but two antibiotics. Based on that culture result, we began to wonder if Mary could have been infected with this resistant Klebsiella (there is a lot of traffic between the Post-Op Ward and the Newborn Unit). At this point, I began to doubt whether Mary might survive. She was critically ill. She should have been in an ICU, but that was beyond our capacity and her financial resources. And our hospital didn’t even have either of the ideal antibiotics to fight the Klebsiella. So, I decided to go to an outside pharmacy and purchased the Meropenem out of our own pocket. That pocket is not really my own. We live and work in Kenya as the hands and feet of many generous churches and donors. From their generous support, I was able to buy a full ten days’ worth of Meropenem at a cost of about $500 (which is about 9 months’ salary for the average person in our area).

I love how the narrative ends. What a truly Christian response! Let's support and pray for the Mhyres and the wonderful work that they do!

It’s a tale of prayer and perseverance. I don’t think we can necessarily step up with these resources in every complicated case, but God put Mary in my path and seemed to call us to action. So thankful today for her great smile and her life.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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