Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Real Nightmare

My whole previous career was one that required a lot of travel - mostly by plane. As you know, there isn't much room to work on an airplane so I ended up reading alot. Several years ago I read most of Stephen King's novels - I later quit reading his stuff because I believe that he just crosses the line. Anyway, if you have ever read some of the more disturbing of King's work, then you probably know what I mean.
Yesterday, I experienced something much worse than anything King has ever imagined - only this was real life. About 10:30 yesterday morning, I was asked to help take an old man to the hospital. It seems that he had fallen and our clinic was not able to help him with the more intense care that his injuries required. He had severly injured his head and one of his eyes. It also appeared that he had a broken wrist. He fell because sharp pains in his stomach had doubled him over. His name is Pastor and he is 76.
Pastor's family asked me to take him to Hospital Esquala - to the emergency room. We drove as fast as we could to get there and arrived in about 30 min. The emergency room wasn't clearly marked and nobody from the hospital met us with a cart or wheelchair. We carried Pastor into the hospital and the staff started looking for a place to lay him down. The treatment area where we ended up was one with an old broken emergency room bed with no mattress. The bed had not been cleaned and there was dried blood from other patients. The staff never once checked Pastor's blood pressure, never once listened to his heart, never once took his temperature. We were there for an hour and a half before anybody ever looked at the wound on his eye. That wound took more than 20 stiches to close up. The hospital offered the old man absolutely no dignity. He was forced to endure a 3 inch incision in the middle of his stomach with no pain meds. We had to go to the pharmacy to buy a suture kit before they could stich up his eye. I was asked several times to be the assistant to the attending DR. Even pushing the cart into surgery.
I can't list all the scary things that I witnessed yesterday because there are too many and because many are too graphic to describe. My intentions are not to be critical of Hospital Esquala either. The very limited resources that are there are utilized in the best way that is possible. The point is that there are likely billions of people in this world that will never see adequate health care. When we as Christians know about some of these places, it is our responsibility to everything in our ability to make it better. It is simply a matter of faith - the kind of faith that won't let you sit on something - instead it bugs you to the point of doing.
Please pray for Pastor. I don't yet know if he lived through the night.
Be a blessing to somebody today!

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Dear Marc,
Mercy, mercy, mercy! How sad. I hope that Pastor pulls through. It sounds so horrible to be in such a situation. Horrible for you as well. A nightmare indeed.

You always end your blog saying you want us to be a blessing to someone certainly bless many every day.

I really could NOT hold up under such circumstances daily.

Glad you are strong and have God close to you.

Hang in there, man.

Ginger Freeman in Mississippi