rotating header

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Christmas Gift

For Christmas, I asked for hope.  Because it is hard to keep pushing 110% effort into small things that die.  And that's when Gift was admitted. He was born on the Kenyan coast with his intestines protruding from his abdominal wall.  This is a condition called gastroschisis, and as far as we know there have been only two survivors in Kenya.  One at Kenyatta and one here.  The exposed bowel gets infected, and something that should be fixable isn't.

Gift was taken to two other hospitals before being transported to Kijabe, where he arrived severely dehydrated on his 4th day of life, his bowel matted to a dirty dry guaze.  Our surgeons inserted a "silo", a sterile plastic bag with a coiled ring that slips under the skin and contains the bowel until it can be gently pushed back into an abdomen that did not grow big enough in utero.  We admitted him to the ICU for fluids and antibiotics and resuscitation and close monitoring.

And that's where he's been for ten days, fighting for his life. His little body has been overwhelmed by a serious bacterial infection in his blood, causing him to go into shock and bleed.  We've transfused and added the strongest combinations of antibiotics.  We've followed his blood pressure and his sodium level, measured his urine output, worried over his chest x-ray.  

And we've prayed, which I'm asking others to do now too.  He should have died, but he has held on.  At one point another doctor wrote in his file that it was time to call in the chaplains to comfort the parents as he was going to die.  But he didn't die, yet.  And with each day he's hung on that stubborn hope just takes hold.

He's his parents first child.  They journeyed a full day and hundreds of miles to get him to our care.  If he lives he would be only the third survivor of this condition in Kenya.  I know God can be glorified by life and by death.  But this time I'm asking for life.  It is my job; that's what I do, and though it breaks my heart too many times, I do believe Gift can be healed.

Please pray that tomorrow, Monday, his blood infection would be cleared enough for him to go into the theatre for surgery to close his abdomen, that he would survive that and be able to breath with his intestines back inside, and Gift would be God's gift to his parents and his medical/surgical team this Christmas.


Jill said...

I will pray for young Gift and for the gift of continued hope for you. What a great name for a child born in this season.

Anonymous said...

Just prayed for him Jennifer. Keep us posted. Merry Christmas blessings to you and family.

JenOPCer said...

We will pray for him fervently!