November 22, 2007

Some Welcome Good News From Africa

I promised to update you about my grandkids in Zambia:

...Dear friends, family, loved ones and all who have prayed:

We love you all dearly and thank you for standing by our side in the Spirit this last week. I am writing from Mansa as our Internet still has not been replaced/repaired.

The girls are doing much better! Praise God! I wanted to fill you in a little on what has been going on and what the Lord has brought us through.

A few weeks ago we had a baby brought to us that was severely malnourished. We began to integrate him into our program. The second day he came he had a fever and cough so when his guardians came we asked them to take him to the clinic and care for him before bringing him back to join the orphanage. We also told them to come each day to collect milk for him.
We didn't hear anything for some time and later found out he was diagnosed with measles. We asked them to keep the baby at home until he was fully recovered but to continue to collect formula to keep up his strength. Unfortunately, they did not do this and we heard that he continued to get weaker.

About a week later Jennifer came down with a fever and two days later Jasmine also fell ill. When the telltale symptoms of measles showed up and the girls were not able to eat we decided to take them to a local hospital for monitoring and treatment.

Jennifer responded well to treatment but Jasmine got worse. The crux came when she was given a different IV fluid and began having facial seizures which caused her tongue to curl up and she could not swallow. Her condition was first diagnosed as hypoglycemia since she had not eaten for 5 days and the new IV did not contain sugars.

Thankfully she continued to be able to breathe, her pulse remained strong and she had all her mental faculties. When she didn't get completely better and her legs and arms began to have muscle problems and her jaw was clenching tightly shut the doctor was concerned that it could be meningitis or cerebral malaria. He told me that if it was his child he would pray and that she may have only until the next morning. As you can imagine this was scary to hear when we are 12 hours away from the best hospitals and things move so slowly here.

We decided to take Jasmine to the nearest large city (usually 4 hours away--although this time only took 3) and contacted a doctor to meet us there. A friend from the city where we first took the girls offered to drive us to Mansa and he has stayed with the girls and me the whole time-- being such a help-- another blessing since Tom had to remain with the work and the other kids.

After desperate prayer we got on the road and, miraculously, after the first few minutes, Jasmine-- who still had trouble with her jaw clamping shut involuntarily-- fell into a peaceful sleep for most of the drive.

Upon arrival at the next clinic both girls were put on two antibiotics and blood work and other tests were done.

The doctor diagnosed Jasmine as having encephalitis (a complication of measles) and said the antibiotics should fix the problem. Jennifer's x-ray the next day also showed traces of bronco-pneumonia. Both girls have severely low white blood counts.

Since arriving here though both girls have made steady progress. They are still quite weak but are getting better day by day. We know this is testament to the many, many prayers that have been offered up on their behalf.

Working within the local hospital system here has been very challenging and frustrating at times but God has been so faithful. Someone asked me at one point if I trusted the doctor and I said no, I trust God. That is what it has come down to. Our lives are in God's hands and His are the best there is!

The girls should be able to go home by Friday or Saturday, God willing.

Continued prayer requests:

  • For the girls complete recovery--especially that their white count can come up to normal-- and that none of the other children contract measles

  • That our water and Internet problems will be sorted out--It looks like we may have to buy the equipment again.

  • For our encouragement, as the little baby that originally had the measles passed away yesterday. This is very hard for us as we already fell in love with him. We feel discouraged that his family didn't take better care of him despite our best efforts.

  • For the work here to continue to grow.

Thank you so much for all your prayers. They saved us! Praise be to God!

Amy and all the family...

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