Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Update on Hope

By the time Hope got to South Africa (SA) on the 15th of January, she was 32 weeks into her pregnancy and she was too sick to receive chemotherapy. She had to wait there until the baby was 38 weeks. She had a C-Section on the 4th of February and had a healthy baby boy, Praise the Lord!
I received an email from her doctor on the 11th of February saying that she was waiting for payment from the government so she could start treatment on her. At that point I sent an email to the Director of the Ministry of Health and made some phone calls and prayed. She did finally receive her first treatment a couple of weeks later.
Hope came home from SA the first week of March. The baby died on the 4th of March for unknown reasons. She said that the baby was not sick. When I received the message through my Swazi staff, they said that she believes that the evil spirits killed the baby because she had traveled with him before he was a month old. Traditional Swazi’s don’t take their babies out of the home before they are a month old because they believe that they are vulnerable to these things, which is very sad.
She was scheduled to return to SA for her second treatment on the 11th of March. However, government transport is not running again and she can’t get there. Unfortunately, this is the end of the government fiscal year and they have run out of funds. I have tried every way that I know to get her there, but I can’t pay for her to go, because if I do, I will have to do it for all of the others and I can’t do that. There are 33 patients right now that need to get to South Africa for treatment or doctor’s appointment. Ten out of the 33 are cancer patients, who need care and treatment. It is so sad to have to tell them that there is nothing I can do. Many of them are very sick.
I just got word today, 18th March that the government is releasing some funds to start transport again next week, after not running for 3 or 4 weeks. They usually run on a weekly basis, except for holidays. However, it will take many weeks to catch up and get 33 patients there. The ambulance only seats 6 people. Starting on Monday, they will reschedule all of their appointments and then make the transport schedule. I have asked them to please give my cancer patients priority so that they can get back to their treatments, which are supposed to be on an every 3 week schedule in order to be effective. I was told to call back on Monday. Please help me pray that this process will go smoothly and quickly for the sake of the lives of Hope and the other patients here in Swaziland.
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