What medieval monks can teach us about despair (3/2/17)
Feb03

What medieval monks can teach us about despair (3/2/17)

We sent out a letter to our partnership team a couple of days ago to update them on the current health crisis in Kenya and its impact on us.  If you are a partner and didn’t receive this, please let us know. The outpouring of encouragement we received back was heartening, reminding us again how much of a team sport our lives are here.   A few of our friends said something along the lines of ‘we just don’t know how...

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Hope (25/1/17)
Jan25

Hope (25/1/17)

Today, Brandon was born. 11 weeks too soon, 3 days after his mum’s waters broke.  550 grams (1 pound) in weight, urgently delivered by c-section.  As I stand near the operating theatre, the obstetric team hands me a bundle that is much smaller than we expect.  The clinical officer and I have agreed in advance – if he’s not breathing because he’s too small, we’ll try to help him breathe and see what...

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A letter to my wife, on the occasion of our 36th anniversary (16/1/17)
Jan16

A letter to my wife, on the occasion of our 36th anniversary (16/1/17)

I wrote this letter to Mardi for our anniversary today.  Because we live so far from most friends and family, I am unable to present this letter as a toast at a group celebration, and decided to publish it instead.  Will you please be upstanding and raise a glass with me?  To Mardi! Today is the 18th anniversary of our American wedding.  Despite being the second time to marry you in as many weeks, it didn’t feel strange at the...

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Strike Impact (6/1/17)
Jan06

Strike Impact (6/1/17)

As I arrive at the bedside I am struck By how cold this kid is. Something’s gone wrong and her skin hangs as her eyes stay closed and her breath rattles This skeletal little girl Was already starved And now her bowels Let loose remaining liquids Needle crushes bone Fluids fly in And we’re chasing, running Trying to catch up Because hearts only pump when there’s something to pump. Maybe she’ll live – Our...

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Caught in the crossfire (30/12/16)
Dec30

Caught in the crossfire (30/12/16)

[Note: As a volunteer doctor, I am in Kenya to care for the sick and vulnerable. Our family is here at the invitation of the Africa Inland Church and several non-profit/relief organisations, with the approval of the government. This post is not intended to criticise any involved stakeholders (government or medical) or to take sides.  It aims not stray into criticism of any of the parties, and reflects only my personal thoughts.]...

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Ghostbusters (guest post by Mary Adam) (20/12/16)
Dec20

Ghostbusters (guest post by Mary Adam) (20/12/16)

In 1984, I was a medical resident in pediatrics, living in Arizona.  Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd starred in the hit movie Ghostbusters and Rod (my husband) and I went to see it in the movie theater. If there’s something strange in your neighborhood? Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! If there’s something weird and it don’t look good. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Little could I imagine that 30 years into the future the song would...

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Prayer Log:  December 2016
Dec06

Prayer Log: December 2016

Thank you for praying for us, and/or just being concerned with what is important to us! This month we’re feeling festive, so here’s some pictures describing our “grateful for” and “request prayer for” this month. Andy visited the planned site for a new mission hospital in West Africa this month for a final engineering assessment to develop a master plan for this important project.  We’re...

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Update on Riley:  3 years and growing (4/12/16)
Dec04

Update on Riley: 3 years and growing (4/12/16)

Three years ago many of you walked with us through a time of great uncertainty – Riley’s poor growth, tests to figure out why, the alarm over a potential pituitary tumour, relief that it was only a cyst – and the conclusion that she is deficient in growth hormone, and will need daily injections until she reaches her adult height. This month marks 3 years since we found out her diagnosis, and we had her regular...

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12 hours, six children (27/11/16)
Nov27

12 hours, six children (27/11/16)

9:39pm.  I’m on call for pediatrics after a full day’s work at the hospital, and have just kissed the kids goodnight.  The phone rings  – Dr Faith, a family medicine (GP) trainee working under my supervision tonight.  She’s out of breath and running.  “ICU 2 – has extubated – can you come?”  I start to run. It’s a 2 year old (child #1).  He had his tonsils out today, but his airway...

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Back on peds – or, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose….” (11/11/16)
Nov11

Back on peds – or, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose….” (11/11/16)

Since handing over the Medical Director role, I am officially back on the peds team, rather than filling in occasional gaps.  It is wonderful, different, reassuring, familiar, exhausting and lovely. Many things have changed since Jennifer and I came to Kijabe – instead of 2, there are now 4 full time pediatricians.  In addition to a nursery and a 20+ patient peds ward, we now also have 3-5 pediatric ICU patients and a 7 bed...

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