Thursday, July 15, 2010

Alal's Story...

(Guest Author: Jessica Leong- short term missionary/Nurse)
We’d been seeing a lot of pneumonia cases in small children here at the clinic.  I woke up this morning nervous for what the day was going to bring.  I didn’t want a repeat of Monday.  Seeing that one little girl die was enough for me.

The day had almost come to a close when 6-year-old Alal was brought in by her mother. She was feverish and had been convulsing before arriving at the clinic.  It seemed like another straight forward case of malaria…until I put my hand on her chest as she breathed rapidly.  Fluid in the lungs. 

Oh no, I thought, Lord please don’t let this little girl die. 

I had been fearing a Monday-repeat. After going through all the initial treatments for Alal, we laid her on a mat outside just feet away from the spot where Yom had passed away. After a few minutes, I noticed that her breathing was becoming more labored.  She was bringing up mucus and saliva with each breath. Not what I was wanting to see.  I ran for the bulb syringe, hoping that maybe I had caught it a little sooner with Alal than I did with Yom. 

After suctioning her the best I could, I kept a close eye on her.  Kids deteriorate much faster than adults do and I wanted to monitor Alal very closely.  For the next 2 hours I checked on her often and was very excited to see that her vitals were looking better and her breath sounds were much improved.  I had hope.  She was going to wake up.  

I returned to the clinic around 7pm to find her mattress empty.  I thought maybe she had been moved inside.  But then I was informed that they had left.  Alal too had died. 

Frustrated….  Frustrated because I know what could have been done in any US hospital.

Heartbroken…. Heartbroken because I knew another family was mourning the loss of a little child.

I sit here wondering why it had to happen like this.  Why did I have to be so closely involved with both cases this week?  I can only come up with 2 answers. 
1 – God will not give me more than I can handle. 
2 – I was able to pray for each child and their families. 

With each death this week there had been a pastor present who prayed in Dinka for everyone to hear.  Maybe through these girls’ deaths someone will be touched through the words prayed or the faith by which they were uttered.