Hola from Honduras!
We arrived to Hospital Loma de Luz in mid April and have been off and running ever since! We were given a week to acclimate to our surrounds before starting full time at the hospital. Alisa has been working in the outpatient clinic seeing patients who come in for follow up appointments as well as “walk in” patients, some of whom travel 3 or more hours to be seen. Andrew is working in “Terapia” or Therapy Clinic which is designed to help see pre and post surgical patients as well as care for various wounds and teach patients physical therapy exercises. Every day we are learning about new conditions, new treatments, and Honduran culture. Every day we are also amazed at how God provides!
As part of our work schedule we each take 1 night of call a week which consists of seeing patients who come in after hours for emergencies. I (Andrew) was on call this past Tuesday when a call came over the radio about 10:30pm that there was a 2 month old in the emergency room. When I arrived a few minutes later from my jungle trek to the hospital across two swinging bridges I could see instantly that this 2 month old had hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a disorder of excessive accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain which can cause enlargement of the head in infants and if left untreated can lead to death.
I examined the patient and obtained some history from the parents with Dr. Anne, who was also on call with me, and we developed a plan. It turned out that the patient had been at a hospital in another town receiving treatment with medications for over a month but his head kept growing. His mother, desperate to help her child get better, contacted our hospital to see if we would help her. Our Pediatrician, Dr. Judy, had told them she would see them the next day during clinic hours to evaluate the situation further and get a game plan for treatment. However, the mother immediately left the hospital with her child and drove straight to Loma de Luz with her family.
Medically speaking this visit at night was not an emergency but to this mother, who had spent the past month watching her child’s health worsen without effective intervention, it was an emergency and that meant getting to our hospital as soon as possible. The only treatment option at this point was to place a drain surgically in the infant’s head to reduce the pressure and to prevent possible complications including seizure, brain damage or death. I am happy to report that the child had surgery this past Friday and was discharged yesterday doing very well.
I was encouraged by the fact that the father of the child kept reassuring his wife that their child was in good hands now because “Dios obra aqui”, God is at work here.
-We have had a similar work schedule that allows us to spend time together as a couple.
-We are joining a talented and skilled group of providers who are great at teaching
-We have housing close to the hospital and even have A/C in our bedroom
-We would connect well into the Loma de Luz community and with the local people.
-Our hospital administration would have wisdom in how to handle an increasing patient load with few providers.
-That our process to buy a car would be completed well since so far it has been slow with many hoops to jump through.
-Continued spiritual growth and physical health to serve well