Another Miracle

Dr Michelle Yates writes:

"Sometimes we have those days or experiences that drastically change the way we think of life. Sometimes I’m aware enough to realize it, and other days I’m too dense to see what is right in front of me. An encounter with a special family has rocked my faith and my medical world view.

This story has two unique parts, the medical amazement and the personal story. As a human being we cannot disconnect the two, but let me tell it as it was revealed to me.

A 12-year-old boy from a rural area of Ethiopia (12-15 hours transport to get to Soddo) arrives nearly comatose, unable to sit, unable to move his entire right side, unable to eat, barely able to speak. He had a fever and a rigid neck. He had signs of increased pressure in his brain.  I couldn’t do a lumbar puncture to confirm my suspicion of meningitis and our CT scanner, the only within 3 hour drive, was not working. He had already been on IV antibiotics for 2 weeks and didn’t get any better. His father, in desperation, brought him to our hospital traveling 2 days on a bus. I changed his antibiotics, gave him some steroids, waited for our CT scanner to be fixed and prayed. I treated him for a possible brain abscess, a complication of meningitis, but knew the entire time it could all be from aggressive cancer. Problems with import paperwork kept our CT scanner down for another 10 days.

He got a little better with medications, but I still wasn’t sure exactly what I was treating. When I finally got the CT scan of his head, we saw the very large brain abscess. It was the biggest I had ever seen. I tried to convince the dad to go see the neurosurgeon many hours away, but he said he could not, he had used all the money he had to get him to our hospital. So I discussed the case with our general surgery team, and they thought they could try to place a drain into the brain through a hole drilled in the skull to remove the infection and give the medicine a chance to work. By the grace of God, the procedure was a success and with no complication the infectious abscess was all drained! What a miracle. We continued his IV antibiotics for another 6 weeks and all his symptoms were gone, except a little bit of scarring in his eye. It was such a blessing to be a part of his recovery. The family is very poor and his hospital care was paid for by our benevolence fund supplied by generous donations. Without this financial support, this boy would have died.

But this is only half the story. I heard little bits here and there throughout his hospital stay, but the day before discharge we gathered to give this boy a going away party with Coke and popcorn and cookies. Our staff needs to celebrate the wins in our department. As in any good Ethiopian party, there were lots of speeches. The dad thanked our pediatric team for our care and went on to tell his story from his perspective.

He tells us that his son is the light of his life. 12 years ago, when he was 1 month old, his mother died suddenly and tragically. This single event earned this boy the title gefee, “the child that pushed his mother out” or more bluntly, “the mother killer”. In his culture, these children are often hated by the family, and sometimes in certain areas killed and buried with their mother. Despite this title of hatred given him at only 1 month of age, his father loved him. Because of his love for his son, this father was outcast from his family and his town. He had just lost his wife, and now had lost his community. He had to live on the edge of town and scrape by to get him enough food for him and his infant son because formula milk and cow’s milk is very expensive. The dad told us that this young boy barely left his side for years because others around him would give him a difficult time. Against cultural stigma and grief, this dad loved and protected his child.

In the middle of his speech, this father falls to his knees and cries out asking God for forgiveness, forgiveness for his unbelief. He tells us that after a few days in the hospital, he went to our hospital bathrooms and wept. He has no money. His treasured son is so sick. He has lost everything to have this boy, and now he has used the last of his savings for nothing. He will have to carry home a dead body. He was asking God where he would get the money to pay for the transport of the dead body home. He tells us that God called back to him and told him to stand up and to come to his throne of grace, undeserved grace. He tells us that it was that day (7 weeks before) we placed his son on our benevolence fund and now his son is walking home. He cried out again to thank God for his mercy and grace and asked once again for forgiveness for his lack of faith that God could heal his son and give him all the money he needed.

As I listened to his story, I was simply struck by the extreme hardship faced by this young boy and his family. I was so thankful that we could love him well at our hospital. Simply put, This is why we are here. I was also convicted. How often do I ask God for miraculous healing of my patients, myself, my friends or family? Do I repent when I lack faith for his healing touch? How often do I forget to trust God to cover all my financial needs? Do I cry out to Him when I feel I am at the end of my capacity? Do I truly believe that he will give everything he promises?

Because of this father and son I am forever changed.


a master carpenter from Iowa, helped build cabinets for our new ICU

Bruce Green, a master carpenter from Iowa, helped build cabinets for our new ICU building. We found him working in the hospital maintenance shop many late nights. He always served with a cheerful smile the month he was with us.

Soddo Christian Hospital has many visitors coming and going but we celebrate each one.

We have had people from all parts of the  United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Korea and Australia. They come with all kinds of skills: doctors, OB nurses, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders,ICU nurses, seamstresses, surgeons, counselors, worship teams, handymen, disciple makers, prayer warriors, nannies!

Each one blesses this hospital so we praise and thank God for how He has provided us with help.

If you are interested, let us know. God can use you.  Would you consider a visit?  visit@soddo.org

THANK YOU NEW AND FORMER FRIENDS FOR SACRIFICING TO COME HERE TO HELP US IN THIS MINISTRY.

Ted Nichols from Washington state has journey here every winter for several years. He trains our welders and is an overall handy man.


We love our volunteers!

The van is closed, the goodbyes are said.  Our volunteers drive off to the airport to return to their homes with stories to tell.

Soddo Christian Hospital has many visitors coming and going but we celebrate each one.

We have had people from all parts of the  United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Korea and Australia. They come with all kinds of skills: doctors, OB nurses, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders,ICU nurses, seamstresses, surgeons, counselors, worship teams, handymen, disciple makers, prayer warriors, nannies!

Each one blesses this hospital so we praise and thank God for how He has provided us with help.

If you are interested, let us know. God can use you.  Would you consider a visit?  visit@soddo.org

THANK YOU NEW AND FORMER FRIENDS FOR SACRIFICING TO COME HERE TO HELP US IN THIS MINISTRY.

This is Nancy Green from Iowa.  She repaired many sewing machines as well as sewed for the hospital and WRAPS ministry. She tackled problems because " I just love to stick with a challenge until it is solved."


Amazing transformation

A young man came to our hospital from a region to the east.  Something was causing pain in his leg, so he and his best friend traveled to Soddo Christian Hospital because they knew he would receive excellent care.

About a year ago, a group of Ethiopian Christians from Soddo went to the region of these young men to share the gospel. However, the outreach group purposely decided  not to go to the village of these two men because of the violent reputation of this tribe. They are known for killing up to 30 people in retribution for a single offense.

While the patient and his friend, both from this violent tribe, were at Soddo Christian Hospital, they watched the Jesus Film, and one of our hospital chaplains visited with them. God had touched the heart of the patient's friend, and he was gloriously saved! Not only that, but the new believer is the son of the king of this tribe. He has returned to his home, eager to share the love and truth he found in Christ with his family and tribe.

The son of a king has become a son of the King of Kings. There is much rejoicing here.


Surgical Treatment of Chronic Elbow Dislocation Allowing for Early Range of Motion: Operative Technique and Clinical Results

Surgical Treatment of Chronic Elbow Dislocation Allowing for Early Range of Motion: Operative Technique and Clinical Results

This is the largest case series of surgically treated patients with chronic elbow dislocation. Using our surgical technique, 97% of patients had good or excellent outcome with a low complication rate. Open reduction of chronic elbow dislocation can be accomplished while permitting early motion with minimal recurrent dislocation risk.

We have developed a straightforward surgical technique that allows for early elbow range of motion (ROM) with a little risk of recurrent instability. We present the operative technique and results of this surgical technique from 2 tertiary centers in Ethiopia. Our hypothesis is that our surgical technique and postoperative rehabilitation protocol allows for good patient outcome regardless of injury duration.

Duane R. Anderson, MD,* Justin M. Haller, MD,Lucas A. Anderson, MD,Samuel Hailu, MD,Abebe Chala, PT,* and Shawn W. ODriscoll, MD, PhD§

JOT8538


Rheumatic heart disease early detection

Sonosite Ultrasound hard at work one day after arrival. We have already identified 4 cases of Rheumatic Heart Disease. Dr Ron Johannson is training our staff on identification and early treatment options.

Their website in Lifestream Founation. Ron and his wife, Colleen, have been traveling the world for over 30 year training mission hospitals.

 

In 1981 they went on their first overseas mission. Their focus has been on medical education, leaving tools for those who are called to serve the poor.

They continue to teach and provide medical care in resource limited areas. Their goal is to improve the lives of the people they serve in the name of Christ.


"Christian" is his new name

Our hospital has a growing pediatric and neonatal service. We just opened our new Neonatal ICU (NICU) 5 months ago and have seen some great results, not just from physical, but from a spiritual perspective.

Our hospital has a three pronged vision statement:

  • to provide excellent medical care,
  • to make disciples
  • and to share the gospel.

In 2017, the chaplains at SCH shared the gospel with 28,714 patients and visitors, resulting in 218 people placing their faith in Jesus Christ.

In our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), we have come to understand the importance of a child’s name. In Ethiopia, a child’s name often represents the conditions surrounding their birth. Sometimes a child is named “The Rain” or “Patience,” and other times it has deeper meaning.

About one month ago, in our NICU we admitted a very sick three-week-old neonate named Bochore. His family were members of the traditional Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He had very severe pneumonia. He had started treatment elsewhere, but didn’t see improvement. In fact at our hospital it was a very difficult battle, because despite our first line and second line treatments, Bochore did not improve. Every day, we would pray with Bochore and his family, for the love of Christ to be evident through us and for his healing.

After nearly four weeks in our hospital on oxygen, he was finally discharged. Every day for a month, we prayed with this family. Every day for a month, we shared who Jesus is in our actions and our words. Every day, our hospital chaplains would spend extra time with this family. At the end of their stay, the child’s mother and grandmother cried and cried. They had felt the love of Christ and wanted that in their lives. The mother professed Christ as her Lord and they changed the child’s name. His new name was Christian.

Would you consider a gift to allow us to further expand this important department?  You can donate here


Life change yard sale

Have you ever considered having a yard sale?

How about selling everything because you're quitting your job and moving to Africa?

Nate and Cherly Ross are doing exactly that!  They plan to join the full time missionary staff at Soddo Christian Hospital in August 2018.  Please pray with us for them during this exciting, stressful, life changing period.

To learn more about their story and process please email ken@soddo.org

 


Our Pediatric ward is crowded

This week, I was amazed at how crowded the hospital grounds are.  I quickly learned that families stay on the property when their loved ones are hospitalized.  When all beds are filled, which is a common occurrence, some sick and injured patients stay in the yard waiting for a vacancy.  Families huddle together, sleep under a tree or under the shelter of overhangs with few complaints.  Above, is the pediatric ward, which is one large room with multiple beds.  It is not uncommon to see family members share a bed or sleep on the ground next to the hospital bed.  For those who have not been here, imagine 6 hospital beds and 6 families, sharing one large room.

Today, we took care of a 4 year old child who had fallen from a mango tree, had an open distal radius and ulna fracture with the radius coming out of the skin.  There was mud and grass on the visible end of the bone coming through the skin.  We were able to take the patient to the operating room, remove the debris and mud, reduce the fracture and pin it back into place.  Dilute bleach is used as irrigation in the operating room, and almost every patient’s wounds are cleaned with dilute bleach daily while they are in the hospital.  It has proven to be extremely effective.

 

I am grateful to UCLA and OIC to have had the opportunity to come visit and help in Ethiopia, and look forward to another exciting week!

Would you consider a gift to our Benevolence Fund to help our poorest patients?

These notes and photos were provided by:

> Ed Cheung

> UCLA Orthopaedic Surgery