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

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How a C-ARM Can Bring Glory to God: Ann's Story

Mr. Rugut and the team after installing the new boards. Note the smile on Rugut's face.

A VERY welcome screen..."System Ready for Image Processing."

Test patient: A Leatherman tool.

Ann is one of many patients who benefitted by the use of C-ARM during her surgery (which occurred prior to our C-ARM malfunction saga). She is now back home with friends and family, and able to stand and walk after more than 5 months of laying in bed with two broken legs.


The two circuit boards made their way from Chicago to Phoenix to North Carolina to Amsterdam to Nairobi and finally to Tenwek, but not without significant effort and ordeal (yet all infused with the grace and sovereignty of God) by the family who carried them, our friends, the Camerons. For the amazing story of the events of their journey, check out their blog, and please keep Scott in your prayers as he has surgery at Tenwek on Monday.

Mr. Rugut and his qualified team of Kenyan technicians received the boards just yesterday, and after installing them found that the problem has been fixed! Thanks to God, our C-ARM is now fully functional again…and I received report that within 20 minutes of the repair’s completion, the C-ARM was used to help fix the multiple fractures of a young girl who fell out of a tree. Dr. Daniel Matthews, the visiting orthopedic surgeon currently covering at Tenwek, emailed saying how thankful he is to have the C-ARM up and running…he also asked for prayers in managing the thirteen patients in the queue awaiting surgery!


When we ask and trust God for something that seems impossible, He often goes way beyond, far above what “we can even ask or imagine” so that all we can do is simply say, “God did that.” A mere week after sending out a plea for funds for a second C-ARM, and for the intern/resident housing project, the full amount for both projects has been pledged! The company in Chicago that provided the replacement circuit boards (incidentally, also as a donation) will also be providing us with a newly refurbished replacement C-ARM, identical to our current unit, so that, God willing, in the future, we will not be without fluoroscopy for an extended period of time again. The new unit should be ready for shipment in about 3 weeks.


“Ann,” a 40 something year old lady who was tragically involved in a car accident in December of 2009, and fractured BOTH femurs (thigh bones), the right side in the middle, and the left side near the hip. Because (a) she is HIV positive, a widow to a husband who died from the same disease, and (b) utterly destitute as a result, thus unable to afford the implants needed to fix both fractures, she laid in a government hospital for 5 months, no treatment, wasting away, losing strength and all hope.

Resigning to the fact that she would never be able to walk again, she was discharged to her small home near Lake Victoria. A missionary in the area learned of her plight, and brought her, like the Good Samaritan, to Tenwek, agreeing to pay all medical bills associated with her care. When I first met Ann, I felt a mixture of sorrow, compassion, anger (because of her blatant medical mismanagement) and dismay. Had her fractures been “fresh,” (i.e. not more than a few weeks old), fixing them would have been relatively easy. But instead, with two non-healed and chronic fractures, both legs shortened more than 5cm, and with knees that were frozen because of non-use, the surgeries would be much more difficult. Before starting every case at Tenwek, a prayer is said for the patient…the day of Ann’s surgery, our prayers were charged with an extra sense of dependence on God to provide wisdom, grace, strength and healing. Aided by a “then-functioning” C-ARM (her surgery thankfully occured right before our C-ARM broke), we placed a rod in the right femur, a plate on the left, and manipulated both knees to break up the scar tissue that had formed from months of inactivity. After three weeks of intense physiotherapy (the patient being very unhappy with her doctor who insisted she continue to bend her knees daily), she WALKED out of the hospital (with the help of a walker), praising God!

Ann is just one of hundreds of patients who have been blessed by the generosity of the hundreds of people like you, who serve “behind the scenes” by giving, praying, as well as advocating and championing. Without our donated (current, and soon-arriving) C-ARMs, surgeries like hers would be, in the least, far more difficult, if not impossible. Without the donated implants, patients like her would still be laying in bed, unable to walk, or worse. And without housing for the interns and residents (i.e. extra manpower) there would be no way to take on “elective” patients like Ann. All these blessings work together for our patients so that they can glorify God, by saying, “Jesus healed me!” Thank you again for your continuing prayers and support!


meshack said...

Truely our Lord God is Jehovah Jireh. We all rejoice here at Tenwek because we have a working C-Arm! I am delighted to learn that another one is on the way coming. Thank you daktari and your family and all that made all these to happen. God shall surely bless you in abundance!

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