It's been a tough week for Holly and I. We've had the pleasure of having a great team from Tennessee serving here at PFH but have been heavy hearted about Jose and how best to proceed. At the end of last week, as I was coming to the realization that we were coming to the end of donated funds for Jose's care, we began seeking alternatives. I reached out to a doctor who has been very kind to the ministry and is the head of internal medicine at a smaller national hospital. He agreed to help and garnered support from the head of surgery and hospital administrator to accept Jose for an extended period of time to allow him to heal. A company in Guatemala agreed to allow us to use the wound vac at no cost so we made the decision to move him hoping and praying for the best.
The reality is that the national hospital system is overwhelmed, under-funded and under-staffed. The men's floor where Jose was located had two nurses and they were checking on him every 8 hours, instead of turning him every two hours per doctor's orders. He had not been turned once in his four days there. He was having some difficulty breathing (as a result of increased pain) and was hungry. They didn't have sufficient food to offer him adequate meals. When we heard this, we sent a meal but the nurses ordered that it be thrown away because they don't allow outside food. As his health was declining we prayed constantly but were loosing hope. I felt guilty about having transferred him. Though we we're successful in saving his life and getting him stable, we had come to the end of the funding.
I admit I think a little too much about things...knowing we needed more funding I debated with myself. How do I ask, again, for Jose when we have so many under our care at PFH with many real needs as well? I called a good friend and I explained our predicament, started explaining all the details of how the hospital had charged us, we went through the money so quickly, and what to do, etc. He stopped me in my tracks and reminded me how amazingly God had shown his love for Jose. How could I think He would abandon us now? Later Tuesday morning, we received a gift for Jose to bridge the gap until we have the needed funds and we were able to get him to a better hospital and the care he desperately needed. Praise God for His faithfulness!
A trusted surgeon, Dr. Allan Chew was on vacation when this all began a few weeks ago. We met with him Tuesday and made a plan to get Jose back where he needed to be. I explained we lacked the funds needed but that we were moving forward in faith trusting God to provide. On Tuesday evening on his arrival they did a full review of his condition. Here is a brief summary:
- Internal organs look good (many who suffer extreme electrical shock have long term damage)
- His bed sores are infection free, the wound vac has been doing it's job
- 5 months after the accident he finally had a CT scan of his spine and there was no fracture. The extreme pain he is experiencing is a result of severe nerve damage from the electrocution.
- Yesterday they began physical therapy, gave him a blood transfusion, his labs were within limits to move forward with surgery.
- Tomorrow they will be operating to perform skin grafts on his burns and bed sores. It will be an intensive operation but the plastic surgeon is confident that this is the best route to accelerate his healing.
Thank you for your continued prayers!