Sunday, November 7, 2010

... to save a life.

A young woman came in this morning because she was 5 months pregnant and miscarrying. She had lots of bleeding and abdominal pain since last night. When I saw the amount of bleeding, I assumed the child was already dead. But he wasn't.

I could hear his heart ticking away at lightening speed. Tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic! The rate was high of course (160-170s) but he was alive. She told me her water broke a full week before. It didn't look good. But he was still alive.

I told her family that she needed to get help at Wau, that we didn't have the means to help her. But her mother said... "I understand we should go to Wau. But it's better if the pregnancy ends now." Only then did it occur to me that perhaps this woman had tried to abort this child. I tried to ask if anything had been put inside the woman to stop the pregnancy? Did anyone give her special herbs to drink? They assured me that they hadn't. I want to believe them. Most of me does.

Understanding that she needed the care in Wau, the family rallied and found money. But before she left, I had to warn her not to let the bus driver know she was sick. In the past, the drivers refused to take sick patients or charged them 300 pounds (a months salary) to take them. Extortion.

When I explained this to the women they grew somber, immediately understanding the situation. It broke my heart to have to warn her not to groan in pain on the bus for fear they'd kick her off. But I did. I told them she'd have to change her clothes and hide the blood as well. They complied.

It's wrong to lie. It's wrong to deceive. And I told them so. But I think it's even more wrong to charge 100 times the bus fare to sick patients. I look forward to having an ambulance. I really do.

Pray she gets on that bus and is able to get the care she desperately needs. Thanks.