If you have a soft heart, you may want to skip this blog. This was a hard day with shocking cases. In an effort to share the highs and hard times we experience, I’m going to include it.
The day started with an emergency run for a 4 month old to the hospital. He was taken to Chaaria mission hospital. Bea was sure that the child had something more serious than malaria, which can already be deadly for children. They were taken in immediately. The baby coughed and cried hysterically the entire ride over. He wouldn’t eat or feed. Then there was 5 minutes of deadly quiet silence. Ted called this the longest 5 minutes of the drive, and he was never so happy to hear a baby cry again. Within two minutes of arrival, the forms were filled out and the child was seen. They quickly realized the child had meningitis so went to a different hospital for further tests. This child’s life was saved because so many things fell into place: we were holding our clinic, they were first in the gate, the doctors saw them first, there was an ambulatory vehicle which is not normally available, and the hospital saw the child first. A few hours more, and the case could have been deadly.
That was just the start. On the drive there, Ted and Bea noticed a man carrying a woman with blood streaming down her face. They telephoned back to the clinic and a combi went to pick her up. Her story was much sadder than mere cuts and scrapes. Her boyfriend came home and beat her so badly with a machete that the community intervened. They tied his hands together and tied the woman to his back and had him walk her down the road to get medical attention. The combi picked her up, brought her back to the clinic were some of her wounds were sewn up. The police arrived and took her statement. Apparently in Kenya, before any medical attention can be sought, the police need their statement first. So odd considering her injuries were so severe, but you have to work within the system. She was sent to the hospital in Meru, accompanied by Heather and Ted. She had a broken arm, fractured leg, fractured jaw and many cuts. She’s living with her mother and now her boyfriend in police custody for an unknown period of time. Again – had we not been holding clinics that day, who knows what would have happened.
The next extreme case was a little girl who had been raped a week before and was having urinary problems. I was standing near the front gate when someone walked up and asked if we handle rape cases. Um, what? I was expecting a sad woman to come in who needed medical attention, and when this little 9 year old walks through the gate my heart broke in two. Ted immediately walked up to the girl, took her hand, and walked her up to Shirley, in such a sweet tender manner, I will never forget it. Shirley counseled the girl and her mother before the examination. Afterwards, Greg and I walked the little girl to the police station accompanied by her mother and neighbor. Apparently the neighbor was necessary as the facilitator. The mother alone was not sufficient to report the issue to the police, because she was so poor, so the neighbor was necessary to act as a sponsor. The girl was clutching a little doll that Shawna had given her. We talked to the police officers and they sent a few officers to go find the offender before he caught wind that she had gone to the police. It turns out that he had raped her months ago as well, but there was no one to stand up for her. Again – why is it necessary that the white mazungos be involved to get attention that should be deserved. Such a sad story, and the man has yet to be found. If the community gets a hold of him, I’m told the custom is to put a tire around him and light him on fire. Wow.
The rest of the day was just filled with waiting for the next shocking moment. We are so glad we were able to intercede to help these poor people, but so very sad it had to happen to them, and that the system that is in place required our presence. Please pray for all of them tonight and those we missed!