On Saturday, after spending two days in Nairobi and buying enough groceries to last for the next two months, we made the 3-1/2 hour trek to Tenwek. The road was much improved since we were last here in 2006, allowing our driver to make good time, Kenyan style. We arrived in the late afternoon, and were greeted by several families living here…Claire and Emma made instant friendships with a little girl named Ingrid.
Being away from surgery for the last few months, I have been very anxious to get started. Of course, “be careful what you wish for.” After church on Sunday AM, I had a tour of the hospital and began to get acquainted with the Kenyan staff and patients, 25 on the service list when I arrived, some two to a bed. I quickly learned the damage that can be done by a “panga,” a large double edged machete.
Since I am supposed to be easing into my schedule here, I have only done 5 cases in the last two days. There are the typical cases you would see in the states (fractures, etc), but also some “atypical.” For instance, today I operated on a man that had a femur fracture three years ago that was never fixed, and thus never healed. So I cut out the non-healed portion of bone, brought the ends together, fixed them with a special plate and screws, and grafted the area with bone from his pelvis. There are also sad cases that should never happen, no matter where you practice. Today, I saw a 4 year old boy who had a simple wrist fracture that his grandpa thought would be best treated by tightly wrapping with a piece of cow leather. His hand was completely dead…tomorrow he will get an amputation.
Please continue to pray for our children. Claire and Emma have been especially sensitive to all the new sights, sounds and smells. In Nairobi, we went a butcher shop, and this must have really affected Claire…two nights ago, I was awoken by soft crying from the girl’s room. When I went to find out what was wrong, she told me she had a dream that she found two baby bunnies, but mom took them from her, and butchered and cooked them. Poor thing!
Although it has only been a few days, we feel so privileged and thankful to God to be here. Thank you for all your prayers and support…we appreciate you so much.
11 hours ago