Saturday, 1 September 2012

Yanoussa, Wilm's tumor

Yanoussa (see here) had returned home but just came back this week again complaining of stomach pain. He had exploratory surgery to see if they could remove the tumor but it was extensive and throughout his abdomen with no clear boundaries so they were not able to remove anything.

So what does this mean? It means we can do no more for him. It means aside from a miracle of God we will watch him die. It means that the sick, literal pain in the heart that we just experienced with losing Bele, will happen again.

I never really planned to do hospice care but it seems that has become one of my roles at the hospital. As much as I hate it, I love it. It is painful without a doubt. There is also joy in being able to love on a family and a child during their last days. We have the opportunity to love and care for them like they haven't been before. And though it really stinks, it is somewhat of a blessing. I can honestly say I am better for having known the children that have touched our hearts and for sitting with them as they passed.

These times never fail to remind me of our frailty as humans. Despite education and training and medicines, we can only do so much. We are able to treat, not heal.

Brett and I return to Mali in 10 days. I am oh so excited. It will be great to see the smiling faces of the kids we haven't seen in so long. It is sad, though, that when we look at Yanoussa's it will only be for a short time.

I must mention that though we all love Yanoussa, he is Jason's kid. They are buddies. This will be a great loss for him.

Nafongo, swallowed corrosive powder

Written by Jason, a pediatrician at the hospital:  Nafongo swallowed a corrosive powder used to make soap in Mali. It scars and closes off the esophagus. I had to dilate his esophagus with a flexible rod to stretch it open. He is doing really well and swallows with no problems now. He became my
shadow on rounds every day. Any time I sat down he’d come prop his arm on my leg.

Doing better after treatment. What a cutie!!

Djeneba, facial burn update: GRAPHIC pictures

Djenba had her facial graft a few weeks back.

Here is the patchwork on her face. We cannot grow skin like they do in America so they take pieces from other places and stitch them together on her face. Only time will tell how this will all take.

I am amazed at our doctors at the hospital. We do not have a plastic surgeon or even a general surgeon yet our OBs and a Dutch tropical medicine doctor do so much outside of their scope of practice. It is simply amazing what they have learned to do.