Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bongolo Hospital Doctor- A Day in the Life

We serve with a team of extraordinary men and women who are intent on expressing the love of God in word and deed in one of the most challenging places to reach on the planet.  With her permission, I am sharing a "day in the life" of Dr. Renee, one of these incredible people.  As you read, I ask that you pray for each situation and all of the team at Bongolo who face these challenging situations day in and day out.

Thursday May 15th 

The day started at about 7:15 am when I was called for a 6-year-old boy with fever and vomiting blood. I found that he was the son
of one of my adult patients who recently had a bad brain infection related to HIV. At the same time there was a 3-year-old boy with pneumonia who was not doing at all well, but the fact that he was still alive was quite good, considering...   Read More...

...I didn’t think he’d make it through the other night.

Next, rounds on the “Adult” ward included a group of teens: a 17 year old girl with chronic pancreatitis, a 17 year old boy who will die soon from heart disease from rheumatic fever, a 14 year old girl with newly diagnosed TB and HIV, and 16 year old boy- who only weighs 44 lbs., who is near the end of his life from AIDS. The nurses called me about this boy overnight to tell me about the maggots in his wounds. (At this point you can be glad I didn’t include many pictures.) [He just had his birthday at the beginning of the month. Last year in May, I didn’t think he’d see another birthday, so during an appointment, while he was at the lab, I went home and made birthday brownies, and the nurses and I sang happy birthday when he came back from the lab. He made it another birthday!]

After seeing the patients in the hospital I started to see outpatients. Today I worked out of the AIDS treatment center. The new computer record system initially didn’t work, so I called Rob, the pilot/computer expert in Libreville, to ask what to do and then went to another part of the hospital to fix it. I saw a child, but while he was waiting, the second patient, an adult man, suddenly ran away. (The next day I heard that they found him in the grass in a neighborhood near the hospital.)

Around 9:45 I went to the ER to see some patients, and I heard wailing from pediatrics. The child with the bleeding had died suddenly. While I was in the ER, the boy with heart problems from the hospital came and asked for matchbox cars and food. His family has abandoned him, except for taking him to the witchdoctor lately, so he doesn’t have anyone to give him food. He’s really too old for matchbox cars, but considering his circumstances I can’t say no. I gave him about $4 for food for the day.

Shortly thereafter, I saw Izzi, the obstetrician walking very quickly to the operating room, and several minutes later a mid-wife with materials to resuscitate a baby. I decided to find out what was happening. They were doing an urgent C-section for a woman who was bleeding profusely. The baby was in distress with a very low heartbeat and the mother was in shock with very low blood pressure. After resuscitation both did well. Neither would have lived if the woman wasn’t here when the bleeding started.

After stabilizing the baby, I heard wailing again from Pediatrics. The child with pneumonia who wasn’t doing well this morning had died. After this, the boy with AIDS from the hospital asked for
Matchbox cars. The nurse had told me that his IV didn’t work; so I let him have 2 cars, but told him he had to let the nurse replace the IV. He pouted, but conceded.

Back to the HIV clinic- One man was still waiting next to the desk in the same position he was in before I left to resuscitate the baby etc. One of the nurses was seeing him, so I’m not sure why. Two children finally had their lab tests after waiting since the morning. One 3-year-old girl, here with her grandparents, was doing well. A 14-year-old boy was not doing at all well. His CD4 count was 4. (The lowest I’ve ever seen. It should be around 500.) I changed his medicines, and gave treatments for multiple problems, and realized that I’ll be in the US when he comes to follow up.

Time to go home. The man who ran away this morning was still missing.

These are the highlights of one day, with highs and lows, the odd and the sad. The goal is to glorify God by caring for people in Jesus name.

1 comment:

  1. God bless you and all you can do at Bongolo Dr. Renee