after the last letter. So much has happened! One of our many events
was a visit from the President of Togo --- who came with only a
notice! He specifically asked to watch Glenn operate on a
cataract!! But, this letter will not only be about his visit, but also
one special patient- a little girl named Gloria.
I rushed to get
the last of my 25 blind patients up the gangway and on the ship before
and the President's security closed the gangway for his arrival, the
minute by minute reports came over the speakers of where the President
was. He was in the port. He was at the gate. The President is
now on the dock "and will all who were asked to be in the greeting line
please assemble." Well.... Glenn and I were invited to be one
of the dressed- up greeters who shook the President's hand as he entered
the ship, but we had more important things to tend to. Things moved very
quickly from there. I found myself in a corner near the OR waiting for a
patient to come out when the entourage arrived .... with lots of media in
tow! Our hospital administrator had prepared extensively for the visit,
but when he opened the OR door, he found no one available to gown up the
Pres.!!! As he frantically began to do it himself, I offered to
help. On went the gowns on each visitor (but he forgot to fasten
them...so I did) --- then, on went the plastic shoe covers (but in his
hurry, they tore, and I went behind and re-covered their feet). Then,
literally threw their OR caps onto their heads, hoping they would land
approximately the right place and pushed them inside! If I wasn't
trying so hard to hold my decorum, I would have laughed my head off at
Keystone cop style at which this all occurred! In they went to watch
Glenn who was in the process of removing a cataract. Whew!
they came out
amazed! And as they left, I then turned to one of the trailing media
people and said, " so....which one WAS the President?" HA!
went to visit patients on the ward. In the picture you can see him
talking to a patient playing Jenga (they LOVE that game)...and to his
delight, the blocks fell just as this picture was taken (below)! The little
with ace bandage over her eye is Gloria. Two days before, I got a call
from our field team that they were sending a patient immediately to the
with a retinoblastoma. I wrote it down, but didn't know what it
was. I heard our team leader, Bob Hicks in the background saying it was
an emergency and she needed to be operated on soon! I scrambled
line up the doctors, hospital bed, and operating room for the next day.
But, when Gloria got there, Glenn took a look. He was alarmed also.
He said it was cancer and if it was not operated on soon, it could
quickly that it would enter her brain from her eye and we would not be
save her. But, this meant removing her entire eye...and
quickly. He wanted her in today. I again scrambled to reset
everything. I then got a call from admissions team who said, "
Momma doesn't understand and will not agree". I prayed and
knew I must take my translator to talk to her. Jean had lost his 21
old daughter last year to cancer. I knew he would have to the words and
the compassion. As he talked to her, he discovered another problem.
Momma was a Muslim. When she finally realized we would be removing a
part and not putting it back, she was required to call the father for
permission. But, she hadn't seen him in 4 years!! Many of the
nurses began to pray. It seemed impossible to us. But, 3 hours
later, someone found him! And she had the permission! Glenn
operated and felt that the cancer was contained in the eye and he got it
As all doctors know, this is never a 'sure' thing.
Gloria's operation by human hands went extremely well. Now we have
to place her life in God's hands. Please pray for this little one
and her Mom's faith.
thank God for
our experienced team that recognized the urgency of her problem and had
compassion to rush her through, knowing it could, and we pray DID, save
very happy with his visit. The rumor now is that he wants to return to
film what he saw and send it to all of Africa!
He was very moved. Pray for this leader's heart to come to know
Christ and lead his country faithfully.
praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are
and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put
Amen. Dan. 4:37