Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CHIPS

Tema is a middle aged woman in CHIPS. She is a caregiver for two children and has no immediate family in Maphiveni. She was hospitalized in April as she was getting too weak to stay at home any longer. We visited Tema in the hospital a few weeks back. She seems to be getting weaker, and giving up hope and she is unable to keep anything down. She says that she vomits everything that she eats. She is so weak, that her voice can barely go above a whisper. She also has an abscess on her hip where she has been given frequent injections for nausea. I asked what we could bring that she felt she could eat. She couldn’t tell me anything that sounded good to her. As I talked to her, tears fell down her face and onto her jacket. She was started on ARV’s in March and on TB meds in January. She is in the isolation ward along with several other women. I was able to pray with her and encourage her to believe that Jesus would heal her and she would be able to eat again without vomiting. I asked her if she believed that Jesus is our Healer, and she said that she did. I asked her to agree with me that He was going to heal this nausea and she would be able to eat without vomiting. While I was talking to her, a woman in the back room was wailing and crying! The nurse that was interpreting for me went to check on her and I followed her. The young girl was very sick and crying that her feet were swollen and painful! I was also able to pray with her that the Lord would heal her and remove the pain! These ladies are so pitiful and so lonely, as not many people visit on the TB ward. I called Lori and asked if she and her visitors from Phoenix could go and visit Tema the next day. They were able to do that and were a great blessing to all of these ladies!

Update Tema

We have now discovered through a recent x-ray that Tema may have an esophageal stricture, which means that her esophagus is too small to get food down it, and that is the cause for her vomiting. We are now in the process of having her transferred to the hospital in Mbabane to have her re-evaluated see if she can be sent to South Africa through the Phalala fund to have surgery to correct the stricture.

The doctor at Good Shepherd Hospital in Siteki wanted us to transport her in the CHIPS khombi to Mbabane. That is something we are defintely not equipped for, so we may have to pay for an ambulance. The cost of just the ambulance trip is around $120USD. Her hospital bill will have to paid at Good Shepherd as well before they will release her. With no family and impoverished herself, that cost will fall on CHIPS (around $150USD). While we do have a small monthly amount budgeted for hospital and drug costs, it is no where near the amount we'll need to help Tema.
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