Monday, November 21, 2011
A week goes by, and the baby who barely lived through the night and upon whom I gambled the $200 surfactant treatment, thrives. (see http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com/2011/11/who-is-worth-it.html) Here he is with a morning yawn as his smiling mother gets ready to feed him through the tube. He's gaining weight, off of oxygen completely, and behaving like a reasonable preemie. I admit I did not expect him to make it this far. But God thought otherwise. He still has a tough life ahead, even if he escapes infection he will have twice the normal chance of dying here, and he will lose his mother before he grows up. But for the present moment, they are a happy pair. This is Tume, the severely malnourished 9-year-old girl who was transferred from NE Kenya with TB, a dislocated hip, sores where her fragile skin had broken down as she lay immobilized in bed, and allergic reaction to her drugs. Two weeks ago she was not moving or talking, let alone smiling. Now she's up with a walker, coloring pictures, and chatting. Progress. But something about the poignancy of her "Prom Queen" shirt tugged at my heart. Her mother is also HIV-positive. This girl's challenges include eventually being orphaned, and possibly being lame. A bit far removed from some other distant little girl whose cast-off shirt seems shallow and vain in this context. Yet I hope Tume feels beautiful too, and loved and admired in the same way the prom queens do. And guess who is going home today? The little girl who stopped breathing in casualty just when the power cut off (http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com/2011/11/high-and-low.html). It was a rocky course in the ICU but she's no longer convulsing, perkily alert, and possibly healed. On a long Monday it is good to be thankful for those who DO get better. And to be thankful for prayerful blog readers.