Saturday, October 21, 2006

3rd World Medical Care

I wrote this in response to a Mom that is waiting to bring her baby home. The baby is VERY sick, and has been in the hospital for a while now. So far, the news has not been good. Everyone involved is worried and afraid. They are currently trying to decide whether it would be best for Mom to travel to Addis early, so she can be by the baby's side. If you are so inclined, please pray for this baby and her family.

Hospital and StethoscopeGrace spent 11 days in the hospital in January. She was diagnosed with salmonella, which usually stays in the intestines and causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping. Occasionally, it passes to the bloodstream and the person becomes septic. The doctors treated Grace with one type of antibiotic at first, but after the salmonella was discovered, cultures were taken, and she was switched to a different antibiotic. Because she had been so sick (serious failure to thrive), the doctors chose to keep her in the hospital long enough to make sure she was gaining weight and acting healthy before she was returned to Layla House. Unfortunately, I did not know all of these details while she was in Addis. I only knew that she had been kept in the hospital for 11 days for severe dehydration, diarrhea and failure to thrive. I had heard many stories of substandard medical care, and one family even lost a baby while we were waiting. Ethiopia is a third world country, after all.
BabyWe were not able to pick Grace up until the beginning of April. The wait was excruciating. In all honesty, there were days that I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Pictures (and even 1 video) from traveling parents were life savers. AAI did a good job of getting us monthly updates. The update program was just started this year, so we were very lucky to get them. I ended up bringing just about every medicine on the planet along when we traveled. I had no idea what we were going to be faced with. Grace was sick with ear infections (puss oozing out of her ears) and severe bronchitis when we picked her up. I think it is just too hard to clear that stuff up in an orphanage environment. As soon as one child starts to get well, another child is getting sick. It is a vicious cycle. Fortunately, we had Zithromax, Motrin and a nasal aspirator to help her out. She was doing worlds better in a matter of days.

MedicalAfter we got home, we received Grace's medical files. All of the hospital paperwork was included. It turns out that my severe distrust of the medical care in Addis was unfounded. They did a very good job, and treated her issues thoroughly. I know that medical issues that arise in children are very frightening for waiting adoptive parents. I would never go so far as to tell you not to worry, but I will say that the staff in the care centers/orphanages and the doctors in the hospitals, really do try their hardest to help the children get well. Everyone involved wants to get these children home to their new families. Their would be no orphanage or agency, if that were not the case.

Doctor

Matthew 6:25-34

25 "I tell you, do not worry...27 "Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying?...34 "So don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Update: While they are still waiting for additional confirmations from the doctors in Addis, the latest news is not good. Mom is very likely going to travel to be with Baby M very soon. You can go here to read more about it. Please keep the White family and their precious babe in your prayers.

2 comments:

Amy said...

THank you for sharing. Will be praying for this family!
Amy

Brian (Ethiopian by adoption) said...

The cardiologists at Children's Hospital here were really impressed with the report from the cardiologist in Ethiopia. There are certainly rich people in Addis Ababa, and so there is medical care available to them (and our kids).