Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Emma, Claire, Levi, and baby Josie

Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Emma, Claire, Levi, and baby Josie

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The God Who Sees: the Story of Achu

Daily dose of Achu's smile on morning rounds.

In the courtyard with Achu. She is still very emaciated but significantly more healthy since removing the piece of dead bone from her tibia.

Achu's sister accompanied her from Sudan to Tenwek and is with her all the time.

After removal of the dead bone...note the huge hole in her leg.

Achu is a beautiful, 15 year old Sudanese girl who presented to Tenwek with a huge piece of dead and infected bone sticking from her leg, the result of an injury which occurred a year ago. Because her mother was dead, and her father a drunk, Achu had no money, and no one to advocate for her care. So she became progressively more emaciated, and more hopeless as the infection grew worse. She prayed that God would somehow help her, and He answered by initiating a massive series of miraculous events that started in a hot and dusty clinic in South Sudan and ended at Tenwek hospital in Kenya (including sponsorship by Randy Alcorn's Eternal Perspective Ministries). For the full (and amazing) story, check out Kimberly Smith’s blog .

As our orthopedic team evaluated Achu, the foul smell of necrotic flesh was strong, and our first thought was "there is no way to save her leg." The piece of protruding bone was too large and after removing it, we were concerned that the remaining defect could never fill in with new and healthy bone. However, we were encouraged, as x-rays showed a surprisingly large bridge of new bone posteriorly, which explained why Achu, despite her condition, was still able to walk, bearing weight on her leg. In addition, we had the sense that God was at work and we were just along for the ride. So that same day, we took Achu to theatre, and removed this piece (approx. 3 inches) of dead sequestrum. Indeed, the hole it left in her leg was cavernous, but we could feel the bridge of bone posteriorly, and the leg miraculously felt very stable.

Achu is currently still in the hospital undergoing daily “whirlpool” therapy in a Jacuzzi-like tub to clear up any remaining signs of infection, and soon, we hope to continue wound VAC therapy which utilizes a sponge and suction to encourage formation of granulation tissue that will slowly fill in this defect. What is most striking to us now about Achu is her beautiful and continual smile, which, I believe, is the reflection of new found hope. She knows there is a God who has seen her condition and is loving her with a perfect love. Her story reminds me of Hagar, who when she met God, called him El Roi, "the God who sees me" (Genesis 16). God is answering her prayers (and the prayers of many others) and we are privileged to be a small part of this process, seeing yet another one of God’s miracles on behalf of the poor at Tenwek. I am humbled and moved to worship the Father who sees the neglected, the abused, and the hopeless.

Please pray for Achu, that she would continue to heal, and that God would powerfully use her testimony to touch the lives of many! Thanks for all your prayers and support!

(Hagar) gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

2 comments:

Uncle Phil & Aunt Willma said...

DAN, INDEED, WE ARE PRAYING FOR ACHU (AND ALL YOU SEE) AND FOR YOU AND "THE TEAM" YOU YOU WORK BESIDE. WE WORSHIP "THE GOD WHO SEES" BLESSINGS! UNCLE PHIL & AUNT WILMA

Anonymous said...

Dan, amazing story and even greater testimony to God being in control of all things. I am curious if this was her distal femur or tibial plateau? May Jesus bless you and your family!
-Derek Bennetsen