Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Emma, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Imagine!


Beatrice hard at work doing PT after SIGN nailing of all 4 long bones of the lower extremities.



Beatrice standing with new, first-year orthopaedic resident Nobert Langat (left) and chief orthopaedic resident Isaac Kingori (right).


Right femur SIGN FIN nail.


Right tibia SIGN nail.


Left knee x-ray showing both femur and tibia SIGN nails. 


 The result of one of the multiple crashes which took the lives of more than 200 Kenyans in December 2017

Story told with patient's permission.

Kenyans use the word “imagine” frequently after listening to a story that has an unfortunate or unbelievable outcome, but that which might be ironically typical for normal, daily life in this developing nation.  For example…Me: “I just waited in line at the Immigration Office in Nairobi for more than 3 hours!” Kenyan friend: “Imagine!” Or…Me: “The policeman who pulled me over for ‘speeding’ actually suggested I pay him a bribe.” Kenyan colleague: “Imagine!”  Or…me eating lunch at the hospital: “My beef stew is missing the beef.”  Response?  You guessed it.  The word, used in these contexts, carries with it a negative sense of “if only.”  If only things could be different.  If only there was hope for real and lasting change.

Now, imagine yourself traveling cross-country as the front passenger in a matatu (14-seat van used for the majority of public transportation in Kenya), over-stuffed with more than 22 people (a common illegal problem in Kenya), and over-speeding on the main highway in Kenya (two-lane road with on coming traffic).   Imagine your matutu driver operating recklessly, crazily passing large trucks in order to save time, all the while with passenger shouting at him to “slow down” and “take care!”  Now imagine that, while overtaking another vehicle, a large semi comes barreling directly towards you, and with nowhere to turn to the left or right.

This is all Beatrice remembers prior to waking up one week later in Kenyatta National Hospital, with all four large bones of both legs shattered, the only survivor in this horrific December 2017 road traffic accident, only one among many in which more than 200 Kenyans lost their lives during this normally festive, family-oriented, but travel-heavy and now infamous month.   She had been given minimal care at KNH, and still had fragments of bone protruding through the skin in her right thigh.  Desperate, without money to pay for her care, family members requested transfer to Kijabe, where Watsi, (an on-line crowd funding platform), and four donated SIGN nails fixed her broken legs.  Now, she is on the mend, beginning to walk not even a month after her injuries.  When telling Beatrice how fortunate she was to be alive and how amazing, unbelievable and God-ordained the events were which brought her to Kijabe for care, her response was “Imagine!”

So the word “imagine” can also be used positively to respond to a story in which the impossible breaks through in the midst of tragedy, and in the end, all is not lost, futile, hopeless, or ruined.  Here, the positive use of the word carries the sense of “Can you believe it!?”  This is the essence of the gospel.  Imagine!...when we were dead in sin, God made us alive in Christ (Eph. 2:1-10).  Imagine!...every tear will be wiped away, and there will be no more pain or death (Rev. 21:4).  Imagine!...Christ is preparing a place for us in heaven (John14:2-3).  God can do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)!  Real, lasting change is possible (1 Cor. 6:9)!  Because of Christ, the “if only” becomes the “can you believe it?"  Imagine!


Thanks for all your prayers and support!

6 comments:

dennis51 said...

Awesome work, awesome story. Heal well and rapidly! Impressive set of x-rays. Sounds like our Guatemalan bus drivers trained your bus drivers.
In Christ,
Dennis McCutcheon

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