Renee Valach

Renée's Rainforest Reflections May 2022


Friday, May 27, 2022
*The day started as usual with morning staff devotions at 7:30 am.
*We started seeing the adult patients in the hospital. The 21-year-old man with the infection of his heart valve was short of breath and had to sleep sitting up. He needs to have another ultrasound of his heart. The elderly, West African man with the stroke received a visit from several members of his community, including the local Imam, and we greeted them. Two people with TB went home today after two months.
*We were called urgently to Pediatrics to help a little girl who stopped breathing. Despite CPR, medicines, and the team’s best efforts, she didn’t start breathing again. She was a victim of child abuse.
*I began seeing my own patients and supervising the team of nurses and the resident with difficult patients. A nurse asked me about a 20-year-old man with mental health problems including hallucinations and suicidal and homicidal thoughts. I tried to convince his mother that it might be better to start some medicine in the hospital. She said it would be ok because she had already taken all the knives out of the house. This takes on more significance in our situation where I keep one machete next to my front door and another machete in the car just for snakes.
*Another nurse brought me a man in his 30’s with increasing difficulty moving his legs for the past several weeks. This started in his feet and has worked its way up to the level of his hips. I wanted him to stay in the hospital, but he refused. It will of course, be more complicated to return if he is worse and can’t walk at all.
*Yet another nurse, brought yet another patient, a man in his 30s with chronic abdominal pain. He’d already had an evaluation with lab tests and an ultrasound of his liver in the capital city. I asked how much alcohol he drank and found only 5 liters a day plus he mixes it with witch doctor brew to get a better effect. Cause of mystery abdominal pain solved!
*Mixed into the flow of the other patients with tuberculosis, HIV, hypertension, and pneumonia, there were also two patients who are family members of hospital employees with new serious problems. One was a 21-year-old guy with a chest mass and shortness of breath who needs a CT scan.
*I went home at 6 pm. The repeat the heart ultrasound tomorrow will wait until morning.

Praises and Prayer Requests

Praises and Prayer requests
*Praise God the insurance company paid the hospital! We can buy medicines and supplies now.
*Last month, I asked for prayer for the arrival of the HIV medicines. The HIV Centers in the rest of the country had been out of medicine for over a month. We had been carefully managing our stock, hoping to have enough to make it through until more medicines arrived. We had put aside a few bottles of pills for pregnant women, so they would not pass HIV to their unborn babies. On the day that those were all we had left, the new medicines finally arrived. None of our patients had to go completely without medicine. The new medicines could have arrived any day, but arriving exactly on that day, felt to me like God saying, "Look. This was me.” The main medicine that most patients take came, but we currently don’t have any HIV medicines for children or adults who have failed first line treatment. Pray that we would receive those.
*We had two mass trauma events this month, one accident with 14 victims and the other with 7 victims. We are thankful that everyone who made it to the hospital did well.
*Here is some follow up to several recent prayer requests. Praise God that there although there have been cases of measles in Gabon, there have been no cases at Bongolo! I asked for prayer for the wife of our patient Mamadou. Sadly, she died shortly afterwards.

Thank you for your support. When you give through the Christian & Missionary Alliance, you can give generally to the Great Commission Fund, or you can give to specifically towards my ministry or a specific need like the Bongolo Benevolent Fund, Bongolo HIV Treatment Fund or Training Primary Care Doctors. Any way you chose helps us share God's love.​
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Updated: June 04, 2022

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6 Tareyton Dr
Victor, NY 14564

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