I have created this blog for anyone that wants regular updates about my time here in Malawi. I am currently volunteering my time to the Ministry of Hope Crisis Nursery and Orphan Feeding Centers.  I am a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse helping to care for the orphaned, abandoned and ill babies of Malawi.  I will try to post updates as often as I can. I thank you all for your support and prayers. Please send them to the babies, children, and people of Africa too. I hope in the pictures you are able to get a small idea of what life is like here for me, but mainly the people of Malawi.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hello, Goodbye.

On Thursday I set off with two British girls to go to Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi for two nights. It was about a four hour drive with about two hours of it being, once again a far from smooth dirt road. We had the most amazing time kayaking the lake, snorkeling amongst the world's largest population of fresh water tropical fish, and lying in hammocks reading books. It was just what I needed before my weekend became hectic. I arrived back in Lilongwe on Saturday. On my way back I received two phone calls to come to the nursery because babies were sick. I dropped my stuff at my house and in two minutes time I was at the nursery with babies being brought to me before I could get in the door. Five were sick with diarrhea and fever and one with all of the above including respiratory distress. The fevers ranged from 101.7 to 104.9 and the same baby with the respiratory distress started seizing due to his high fever. So, immediately my work from last week at the nursery began to pay off. With a group effort, we had moved the existing Clinical Officer's office out into the reception area freeing up an extra room to put babies in . I immediately quarantined the sick babies into this room and assessed each one and treated accordingly. I phoned Chris to see if he could pay a visit to help me out, as all of the regular staff and clinical officer were on a retreat at the lake.
I waited until Chris arrived and he gave recommendations on each babe. It sure pays to know a pediatrician in Malawi!! He and I ended up taking the baby (Stephano) with problems breathing to the clinic only then to decide he would be better off with me than there. So, back to the nursery we came. I spent the night on a piece of foam in the middle of a diarrhea swamp and soaked nappies. I didn't get much sleep, or any for that matter and eagerly awaited the morning arrival of the Clinical Officer that was supposed to arrive at 10 am. Well...in true Africa fashion no one is worried about time and things come up. So, in her defense things happened that were out of her control. Apparently the minibus ran out of gas, broke down which then resulted in a 3:30pm arrival. You can only imagine how great I am feeling at this point. Being up for close to 40 hours with no sleep and diarrhea all over me. I did survive and so did all of the babies. I am happy to report that they all maintained hydration and the fevers lessened. I was up all night because of it, but it was worth it at the same time. They will all be fine, as I am assuming it was just a viral bug. No other babies have gotten sick, so hopefully this new "Isolation Room" is working. Good changes have happened since I have been here and I see things moving forward. I have done what I can and feel good about my efforts even though sometimes I wish it was more. In many ways it feels like I was just arriving and now I am preparing to say goodbye to all of my new friends. It has been the most amazing journey of eye opening experiences, emotional tugs on the heart, and spiritual growth that I could have imagined. I thank each and every one of you who have followed me on this journey. You have been a crucial part of this experience for me and I feel blessed to have been able to share this with you. Thank you for your prayers as that is the most powerful thing we can offer.


***I will continue to post updates on the babies as I receive information, so check back!***

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how are the babies doing?