Monday, November 5, 2018

Home


We made it home with no issues, praise the Lord.  I had no internet access in my housing location for my last week so I apologize for no Blog updates.

When we arrived to the ENT house we had a friend in the front yard playing with some of the laundry drying in the warm sun.  What a fantastic view we have of the surrounding valley and mountains.

We had a busy week doing cleft lip and palate. surgeries  There were 4 surgeons and we were able to run 3-4 rooms throughout the week.  Although a chaotic first day screening 60+ patients the week overall was peaceful as compared to previous years.  The Lord was definitely in charge and gave us a very manageable pace.  Overall, we were able to perform 49 cleft lip and palate surgeries.  While we were busy in the operating theater, the chaplains were busy ministering to the patients.  At the end of the week they shared that 15 women gave their lives to Christ!

Enud is 4 months old.  At his birth  mother was cast out of her tribe and disowned by her own mother.  It is traditional thought that the cleft deformity is caused by the mother's sin.  She and baby arrived to the cleft camp desperate for help.  Enud was screened and accepted for surgery.  After surgery the nursing staff witnessed mom receiving her baby with tears of joy that came like a flood.  She would now be able to return to her community and be accepted by her mother again.  God had redeemed the curse!


Susan is a 3 month old with unilateral cleft lip deformity.  She underwent surgery on Monday but during surgery she was noted to have abnormal breathing creating concern.  After surgery she did not arouse from anesthesia even after 3 hours of observation.  We had no explanation for her complication.  We had no ventilators or means to care for her overnight so made plans to transfer her to a nearby hospital.  We prayed for God's mercy and healing for Susan.  Transfer was via trolley over bumpy roads.  We noted that she was somewhat more awake when we arrived at a the transfer hospital.  As we lingered she continued to improve and we were able to extubate her that night.  The next morning she was back to her normal self, praise the Lord.  As we put the puzzle pieces together we realized the anesthesia machine was broken and was recirculating Susan's breaths so she had dangerously high CO2 levels.  

These are just a few of the stories of changed lives.  The impact of these surgeries is life changing and I am rejoicing in all that God has done this week.

Thank you for all your prayers,
Chase Miller


Friday, November 2, 2018

Jimmy's last day at Tenwek & Chase's last day at Kijabe

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Time seems to fly by here at Tenwek.  My two weeks are up and I've been packing and saying my goodbyes until next time.  While typing, I had a knock at the door and it was Geoffrey, my boda boda (motorcycle) driver.  He was on his way home and remembered that I was leaving first thing in the morning so he stopped over and say goodbye!  He has been a good friend over the years and very trustworthy.  I will miss him along with Peter Rono, another driver - Ok, so my other friend Julius just stopped by to say goodbye as well!!  Every time I come here I learn more about my Kenyan brothers and sisters and their beautiful, simple lives and genuine hospitality.  I hope I can mimic a portion of that hospitality and love when I come back home?!  Sometimes our lives get so busy and cluttered that we miss God opportunities.  I pray that I don't get caught up in the craziness on my return?!


Cheptuiyet Primary School
These students (Standard 8) just finished three days of exams for entrance into high school.  They must perform well on their exams because it will determine where they will end up.  I had the opportunity to listen to the teachers encourage them and send them off and then they asked me to end in prayer for the students and staff - a great honor!!

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to be here and to share your love!

Thank you all for your prayer support!!

Peace,
Jimmy

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cleft Lip & Palate Week

Jambo!!
Chase finished up at Tenwek this past Sunday (10/28) working right up until the SP van arrived.  She is now over at Kijabe/AIC Cure Hospital for the Cleft Lip & Palate surgeries this week.  She doesn't have any WiFi at that location, therefore no updates - so here goes:

Please pray for a baby girl named Susan.  She didn't wake up from surgery and they had to transport her to the ICU at the hospital up the road.  As it turned out, there was a malfunction in the anesthesia equipment and instead of breathing in oxygen her air was getting recirculated so she was breathing back carbon dioxide.  Thankfully, they figured it out and all is well with the equipment.  Baby Susan has been improving, too!!

Please keep Chase in your prayers for strength and endurance and for her patients to heal well after these long surgeries.  Please also pray for sleep for Chase!!

I've remained at Tenwek continuing with the water filter distribution, moving ENT equipment, delivering special LED lights to Korara Visually Impaired School,
visiting an orphanage that I haven't been to in the past and doing some work with Friends of Tenwek (a non-profit that I'm on the board with) helping to plan fundraising for a new Chaplaincy School here at Tenwek.  It's been a busy, but productive week!  I'm also waiting for another delivery of water filters this Thursday, I pray!!


Special LED lights for visually impaired students (thanks to Denise & Luis Perez)!
Elijah (Director) with his son Enoch from Mosop Orphange and School


Thank you so much for your prayers!!

Jimmy and Chase

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Week 2

Isaiah 59:1  "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."

The Lord has heard my cries for mercy both for me and my patients.  Baby of Faith (the name of all kenyan baby girls that have not been named yet) has made it through several surgeries and is now off the ventilator.  She is the newborn seen last week with a large anterior lateral tongue mass.  Pathology has returned and she has a rare myofibroblastic tumor.


here she is preop.  she underwent resection of the tumor successfully but needed to be on the ventilator post op.  the ventilator is to the right. I have never seen one like this! looks like an iron lung!  fortunately she is off the ventilator and breathing on her own now.  I anticipate her beginning oral feeds soon!

We rushed to the operating theater one morning with a 3 year old in respiratory distress.  Xray revealed a light bulb in her airway! We were able to remove this with some creative tools.  Thank the Lord!

 

My cleft palate patient returned unfortunately with complete breakdown of his surgical site.  This was heart breaking!  A number of things played into this but God is so gracious we were able to clean the infection, repair the tissue and place an obdurator in his mouth to hold the flaps in place.  Please lift him in prayer. he will be in the hospital for another week as we treat the infection and make sure all the flaps remain clean  and viable.


I am amazed as usual how the Lord is so near.  His plans are not thwarted by our insufficiencies but He is glorified in our weakness!

Blessings,
chase miller


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Water filtration 'up and running'!

October 25th, 2018

Water filtration is up and running!

10/22/18:  Monday was a day of setting up appointments and greeting some old friends, but I was still able to hand out 5 filter sets to an Anglican Priest from Pittsburgh, PA who is at Tenwek with his wife who is a general surgeon.  He and I had lots to talk about being from the Pittsburgh area.  He'll be traveling some more in Uganda with his wife, so I set them up with filters.

10/23/18:  This morning I hit the road and went to Umoja orphanage.  I had been here three years ago and they have grown with more children and needed some filter upgrades.  We purchased a large tank and some smaller containers for clean water and got them all hooked up.

10/24/18:  Today was a day for new things!!  Boda Boda ride (motorcycle ride) through the back hills and villages around Tenwek and Bomet.  At one point, I had no idea where I was and I'm pretty good with directions!  Yeeehaaaaaa!!  

I had lots of looks!  "Mzungu on boda boda!!" - translated to:  "White man on motorcycle"!
This is not a common occurrence!

10/25/18:  Back at it this morning!
We went to three schools and a medical clinic all before 1pm!  My rear end was a bit tired, if you know what I mean?!  Paved roads in this area are non-existent. 

Seger Junior Academy
At this particular school I had a nice conversation with some of the staff and the Head Teacher (Principle) about faith and prayer.  I told them that I'm here only by faith and prayer.  Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is what is carrying me from the US to Kenya.  I'm here with two gifts:  One gift is clean water and the other is The Living Water - Jesus!
Some of the staff knew what I was talking about and I heard a lot of Amens!!  But some others were a bit unsure and slide quietly out the back.  I challenged the staff who 'believe' to talk to the ones that  left and speak with them out of love!

Please continue to join us in prayers for our Kenyan brothers and sisters.  Many know the Lord, but many do not!

Asante Sana!!
(Thank you very much)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

First Week





This photo is a typical view of the Kenyan landscape.  I love walking down the dirt road with the cows next to me.  Young children laughing and playing with sticks in the nearby grass.  The gentle breeze cooling us from the African heat.  Such a simple quiet life.






It has been a different kind of trip so far this October.  With our clinical officer Peter gone I have had to struggle through clinic without all the language assistance that is so needed.  Fortunately, my general surgeon resident has been full of energy and although he does not know the local tribal language he is able to converse with most using Swahili.  There has been a parade of patients again now that the word has gotten out that I am here.  Because Peter was not here to line up surgery for me I have seen many more patients in clinic than in the operating theater.


This is Paul who is a 16 year old child referred for cleft palate repair.  he had his lip repaired when he was younger but never had the palate repair.  He comes from a family of 6 children.  He is sponsored by Compassion International to help support his family.  He attends school but does not communicate because of his unprepared cleft palate.  He underwent repair of his palate.  Please pray for him as repair this late often does not improve speech.  We are praying for a miracle that his palate will heal well and he will have improvement in his speech.  Pray that he would be BLESSED, not cursed.



This newborn infant was born with a large tongue mass.  She did well for several days but then began to develop breathing issues.  We were hoping she would have a tongue cyst which could be easily managed and reduce the size of the tongue and therefore improve breathing.  Unfortunately, biopsy revealed a large solid mass originating from tongue muscle. We are concerned for a malignancy.  Pathology is a real problem here.  It takes 6 weeks to get results back from Nairobi.  We just returned again to the OR today to again work with her breathing passage.  This is going to be a long wait and we are praying she survives.



Please continue to pray that the Lord would bring His people in and that He would give me wisdom and healing hands to treat.  There have been difficult working circumstances and I have not completely relaxed into the rhythm of this place yet.  Jimmy has arrived safely this weekend and I am thankful he is here.

Blessings,
Chase

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

a long day

Today was a busy day.  God did a miracle with my luggage it arrived tonight intact, nothing missing and no taxes needed to be paid! I am very grateful.

We did a Thyoidectomy for a very large thyroid goiter today.  All went well and patient is recovering without issues.  Thank you God

Clinic this afternoon was very busy.  I saw many patients.   Several with large head and neck tumors. We are in the process of evaluating them. unfortunately the CT scan is broken so we need to make decisions like the old days!  I am enjoying working with my general surgery resident who is so enthusiastic to learn.  He enjoys spending time with the patients and praying with them so we are working well together.

tomorrow we have a small biopsy in a child and no other surgery lined up  yet.  we will see what casualty brings in today.

thank you for continued prayers for the patients and strength for me.

chase miller