Friday, October 18, 2013

Tombodo Village

Heather Quinn

Today we went to visit, tour, and meet with the community and their leaders at Tombodo. It was the bumpiest ride yet and it took 45 minutes. The leaders seemed concerned about the health and well being of their community. They stated that their main problem is their lack of clean water supply. They know that the main reason that they keep getting sick is because they have contaminated water. The CHO in the community really wants to partner with us. The medical clinic was really nice (it's all relative - in comparison with the other village clinics) with a good supply of medications for pregnant women and children. It was nice to meet the community and do our education training of CPR and birth kit demonstration. 

While on the village tour, I spoke with a young 19 year old man who told me that this village was especially hurt by the war. It was attacked by Liberian rebels and he was 10 years old when his family had to flee. They fled for 5 years. Both of his parents are still alive but are injured from the war. He is in school and studying hard. He wants to be a teacher. His English was really good and he ended up staying with us for some time. This village had the prettiest views because of the rolling hills and folliage but there were war remnants all around. 

Today was a hard day emotionally for me. We stopped by the government hospital to see our patient there who is deteriorating fast. He is now unresponsive and unable to eat or drink. We gathered around his bed for a prayer. As pastor Joshua prayed and committed this mans life into Gods hands, the tears started to flow and I had to hold back from sobbing. I was holding Phebian as we prayed because it was clear she was bothered. She had done so much for this man medically and with great compassion. We realized that it's in Gods hands now and his time to pass on unless there is a miracle. As I looked around the men's ward at the frail and sad looking patients, I had to leave because my heart was breaking and I felt ridiculous crying so hard. I think I cried most of the car ride to the village. This had affected all of us on some level and we all were feeling the sadness and helplessness of the situation. Being in the hospital has been the hardest thing for me so far. We stopped in to visit the man after our day in Tombodo. He continued to decline and we decided comfort measures was the best thing for him. We met some of his family who looked hopeless but grateful for our help. Since the hospital has no comfort care medication, we vow to go buy him some at the pharmacy so that his last breaths on earth are not as painful. Phebian's dad had stayed with the patient all day, attending to him and trying to feed him. He agreed to stay a little longer until Phebian could return with the pain medication. We made a pharmacy run and then headed back to the hotel. Phebian dropped us off and told us to get some rest tonight.

We will have a busy clinic day tomorrow. Keep us in your prayers.

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