Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another day in Sierra Leone - and some good news too

Hi All!
 
Plan for the day:  
 
1.  Sleep in.
 
2.  Go to "Super Market" - can't wait to experience a Sierra Leonean super market!
 
3.  Have lunch with an old Ethiopian pal from my mission there in ... 2008?  He was a lab tech and went to med school and is now in Freetown working in a pediatric hospital.
 
4.  Skype with Pete in the evening (morning in Seattle).
 
5.  Go to bed early and start 6 in a row before another overnight on Super Bowl Saturday (Go Hawks!)
 
Two pieces of GREAT NEWS!!!  Our 5 month pregnant patient was successfully induced and survived!!!  HURRAY!  She is the 19th documented pregnant Ebola survivor for MSF since the outbreak began nearly a year ago.  She is glowing, happy, laughing and thankful.  
 
Second thing - Momo tested Ebola NEGATIVE yesterday - WAAAAAHOOOOO!!!!!!!  He's still a bit foggy and rummy - I think still a bit fluid overloaded and perhaps a bit tox from liver and kidney failure.  His hands and feet are still swollen, so I can imagine his brain is as well.  But he's asking to move to the other tent (they all know going to the other tent is a step in direction of survival and going home) and is eating, drinking, walking without staggering, making sense, following directions and even initiating conversations.  Thanks to everyone who has sent such strong positive vibes his direction and prayers - it's all worked and he's improving right before our eyes.  From being chased back into his room with a stick to survivor.  Wow.
 
A couple pics to share with you - one of a survivor hired as a caretaker to watch/feed/clean the pikins (small kids).
  And one of a ladder - there is lots of construction going on.  Amazing these men can do hard physical labor in this heat.

 
We are now up to about 60 survivors since this ETC began Dec 10.  About 300 total patients, about 30 still in now.  The 300 includes patients that are brought into "suspect" but get ruled out with lab tests.  Probably half are discharged as not Ebola.  Some are malaria, some are just symptoms we don't diagnose a cause.  We are not a hospital nor do we diagnose or treat anything other than Ebola.  No meds, no time, no space.  We try to get the "negatives" out of the facility as quickly as possible so as to not expose them to the virus in any way.  There is always a risk.
 
Still teaching at every opportunity and enjoying seeing the nurses get a bit more empowered every day.  After all, we will leave and they will stay.  One gift is to leave behind as much knowledge as possible.  
 
Hope all's well at home.  Keep sending your happy thoughts to these people.  Keep spreading the word - Ebola is not over.  We have hope.  We're all working hard to overcome.
 
Love to all,
Sue