Posted by: joan49 | August 23, 2012

The Need is Still Great…

On Monday, an older local man was cutting the grass at one of the local schools using a machine like a weed-whacker only it has metal blades that turn instead of a plastic cord.  One of the rotating blades came lose and hit him in the leg cutting through his shin bone.  We got him to the local government clinic where we spent 3 hours cleaning the wound to get the bone fragments out, and then trying to stitch the wound.  The problem was that he was bleeding copiously from the shattered bone itself which made closing the wound difficult, as it was difficult to see with all the bleeding, but also challenging because the blood will simply collect under the skin making his foot swell if it can’t drain.  But we also couldn’t apply a good compress to stop the bleeding without closing the wound first.  To make matters more difficult, it took half an hour for the clinic to find rubber medical gloves we could use to protect our hands, there were no pillows or a way to elevate his leg, the electricity was out so we were working in very dim light, and there was no ice for making a cold compress which would have helped slow the bleeding and brought him some comfort as well.  It took some creativity, but we finally got him stabile.  Now he has to wait two days for the weekly boat to come so he can go to the hospital in Padang where they can take X-rays and give him something for the pain besides Tylenol and ibuprofen…What’s sad is that this is the NORMAL level of medical care that can be expected here, not just a reflection of post-tsunami shortages…



  1. That is awful. The poor man must have been in awful pain and so scared.
    You guys must have the coolest heads to handle these tough conditions and make it work. I can’t believe what I’m reading. Stay strong & healthy yourselves.

  2. Your healing presence is so valuable there. Blessings & strength for you & your colleagues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: