High-speed driving on bumpy Kenyan roads is not advisable any time. But on this particular occasion, I heard grown-up adults from the medical profession asking “Are we there yet?”
It was the end of the third day of medical camps held by IMR (photo to left property of IMR) with a team of 60 medics. Nearly 500 people had been treated in this remote village on the slopes of Mt Elgon in Kenya. We were getting ready to pack up when a young lady, about 16 years old, pushed her way to the doctors carrying a bundled-up baby.
The nurse took the bundle and began to unwrap it. When all the layers were off, she found a severely malnourished baby boy. Then I heard the cry, “This baby may not survive,” as she put the baby on a flat surface to apply CPR.
Soon our rented vehicle became an ambulance. With lights flashing, we sped through the dirt road toward the highway that leads to Cherang’any Hospital in the outskirts of Kitale. The journey ‘should’ have taken over an hour, but we made it in about 40 minutes.
We called ahead so that they would be expecting us. But at the hospital, members of the IMR team took over. After some ransacking, oxygen and an IV were finally in place and baby Luke began to respond. There was hope.
The pediatrician finally arrived and after some checks, confirmed that Luke had severe pneumonia. He also said there was no need putting him in an incubator. Baby Luke was later moved from intensive care to the general ward. With his sucking reflex active and strong, he is now ready to be discharged.
This was just one of the many cases that the team had to handle in their week of medical camps. An average of 500 people were seen daily. We are very thankful to the doctors, nurses, students, hosts, translators and other volunteers who took time to work in these very challenging situations, touching and giving hope to many sick and suffering people who otherwise would not have had a chance to see a qualified doctor. We also appreciate all of those who prayed for this very compact week. There were times when God literally intervened by sending winds to divert imminent rain. Baby Luke and several others have a smile on their faces today because you cared enough. Thank you.