Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Just the other day I said, “There is nothing new to blog about here, but God surprises me once in awhile.” The past four weeks I have been working in Plastic surgery with a wonderful team of friends- Melanie, Michel, Gillian, and Dr. Tertius. It’s a different kind of plastics we do… not your typical lifts and enhancements. However, children come in with burn contractures due to crawling into a fire or hot water poured on their bodies. A young woman came in with burns on her hands. She tried to save her baby and husband from a house fire, but she was the only survivor. A healing doctor in the village put another patient in a room of boiling water to rid her demons, but instead she had a seizure and fell into the fire. We release the contracture, scar tissue that bends the appendage inward, and then new skin is placed on the wound. What a joy it is to be a part of amazing, life-transforming surgery.
I would like to tell you about my little friend, me pady, Osman. He came in a week ago Monday for a release contracture of his knee. He had sustained an injury to his leg and was taken to a “healer” who placed leaves that were soaked in boiling water on his right leg. Osman suffered burns so intense that his skin healed by pulling his right leg in… his knee was bent permanently at 90% angle. I went and checked in 9 year-old Osman at the pre-op bench on Monday morning and we were both hopeful for his leg to be straight the day he would go home. Due to previous surgery, we had to clean his wounds and bring him back another day. Wednesday, Osman and I met again at the bench and he knew me by now as “me pady in da operation”- my friend in Krio. Finally, Friday came and Osman was ready, he asked me. “Will this be my last surgery?” We bowed our heads and prayed to Papa God that it would be Osman’s last. Dr. Tertius removed skin from his lower leg and placed it behind his knee where it was once bent and we wrapped bandages on his new straight leg.
Today, I was coordinating in the OR and going from room to room helping with counting and cleaning in between cases. I volunteered to go pick up our next hernia patient at the pre-op bench. Standing there, I spotted Dr. Tertius in the hospital corridor walking my way. He told me we needed to bring Osman back for bleeding and I switched quickly into emergency mode. All of us in the OR worked together to get the room ready for Osman- instruments, suture, drugs, blood, and supplies… some that had to be substituted because we are not a fully stocked hospital. I went to ICU to retrieve Osman and could only encourage him, “Me pady, take fine fine care of you, me pady.” Osman went to sleep holding my hand and surrounded with all the prayers of everyone in the hospital. The surgeons and nurses worked into the afternoon, replacing the damaged artery in Osman’s right leg with a vein from his left. We took him to Recovery still unsure if the surgery was successful. When I checked in on Osman in ICU this evening, he was awake, but more importantly concerned about his balloon he lost. I rescued the balloon from Recovery and placed it in me Osman’s hand while he struggled to get comfortable with both legs wrapped in bandages. As I sit here on the computer and on-call, I am asking God again for help. The Lord amazed us, helping us with Josephine’s surgery to remove the pebble from her lung. Tonight, I am asking you to pray for healing and for blood to flow through Osman’s leg. Please, please pray for me pady.