Tuesday, August 10, 2021

2nd week

 It always seems to take a week for me to adapt to the pace and cultural differences at Tenwek.  I feel over my head in numbers of patients.  Each step I take is often interrupted by a medical question from a local or staff member.  My agenda needs to be to take care of the person in front of me.  I can not plan on a schedule or anticipate the next medical problem or surgical case.  And yet I can trust that the Lord is guiding my feet and bringing those to me that He desires me to care for.  I can trust that He will never leave me or forsake me.  That He has not called me without equipping me.  But when I look at the problems before me it is hard not to wonder "why me?".  There are so many others that are more capable.  " His power is made perfect through my weakness"!  Where I am weak, He is strong!


Joy

Joy is a 1.5 year old with 3 weeks of post auricular swelling and irritability.  Mother denies ear drainage or history of ear infections.  CT scan reveals findings of abscess and mastoiditis.  This infection began in the ear, spreading to the bone behind the ear, and into the tissues behind the ear.  She underwent urgent mastoidectomy.  This is not a procedure normally performed at Tenwek.  I was able to use the neurosurgical microscope and ear instruments that I have stored in our ENT cabinet.  God was faithful to lead me through the surgery.  Joy is still in the hospital getting IV antibiotics and awaiting culture results.  She is feeling much improved and we give all honor and glory to the Lord!

Meshack

Meshack is an 8 month old with a large swelling in the floor of his mouth left side plunging into his left neck.  He is growing and eating well but the mass is enlarging and encroaching on his airway.  His family has been unable to pay the monthly fee for national health insurance so his medical care needs to be paid by family members.  They could not afford any preoperative evaluations.  He underwent surgical removal of the cyst which was a ranula.  This is a cyst arising from a salivary gland in the mouth. The cyst was large and plunging into his neck.  All went well and Meshack was able to be discharged post op day 1.  His hospital bill was paid for by generous donations raised prior to our trip!


This young man was found on the side of the road struggling to breath.  He was taken urgently to the operating theater where he was found to have a partial tracheal transection.  The weapon was blunt, tearing through the tissues of the neck and airway.  He was fortunate in that the trauma had created a breathing passage and his voice box was spared.  We performed a tracheostomy and repaired the torn trachea.  He is recovering well on the wards.  We are praying for him and the chaplains have been seeing him to provide support.

ENT Clinic was especially busy this year.  we saw between 30-45 patients on each clinic day. We held an extra hearing aid clinic on our last Saturday in order to accommodate everyone.  Overall, we fit more that 25 hearing aids to grateful elderly and children that were hearing impaired.  This ministry has grown to the point where we need a separate hearing aid provider when we return in February.  

I am so grateful to the Kenyan general surgery residents who worked hard to help care for the onslaught of ENT patients in clinic and the operating theater.  It is a privilege to join in the great work that is being done at Tenwek Hospital.  God has built a mighty place of healing for his people here.

Thank you for your faithful prayers.  We could not do this work without you lifting are arms in the battle!

chase miller






Thursday, August 5, 2021

Visit to Kitoben Children's Home

 This past Saturday we ventured over to Kitoben Children's Home to visit Alice and Samwel, who run the home, and all of the children.  Every visit we make we see some new changes to the school.  They have completed a beautiful, multi-purpose dining hall that will serve both the home and the school.

                                                Here's a pic of the outside of the new building:



           This is Alice and Samwel Langat - they started and continue to run the home and the School.

Here's a short video right after Isaiah gave the children a couple of soccer balls.  Notice that a cow shares the space with the kids!

One of their greatest needs now is to build a new, larger latrine on the school compound which will cost about 350,000 KES or about $3,500.00.  The government now requires all schools to have a quarantine space for children that come down with COVID, which is another added expense for the schools.

The children are well here and are loved by Alice and Samwel.  They constantly teach the children about Christ and what it means to follow Him and to serve Him.

                                               Here's a pic of the inside of the new building


Please keep them in your prayers!

Peace,
Jimmy

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Hearing Aids

 Isaiah here! 

 At the end of this first week at Tenwek, I've had the chance to look back and reflect on the experience thus far. And it's been amazing. My time has been split between two main paths. First, I have been shadowing some doctors in the operating room and am truly experiencing first-hand the ins and outs of surgery. I have witnessed parotid tumor resections, tonsillectomies, pituitary gland tumors resected through the sinuses, cataract surgery, and more! A great part of watching these surgeries is the preparation I can do pre-operation. I have read about the surgeries beforehand and grasp, to some degree, what is going on and the anatomy involved. The doctors have been great resources and have helped me learn a large amount in just a span of one week.

 The second focal point of my time at Tenwek, which I would like to highlight, are clinic days. Here, I have been assisting my mom in her ENT clinic performing various tasks. Most importantly, I have had the opportunity to head up the hearing aid distribution, under the jurisdiction of Dr. Miller, of course. My responsibilities span from first administering a hearing test to a patient to actually fitting them with a hearing aid. This ministry has been a great blessing. The Kenyans are extremely grateful and nothing beats the smiles that come when a son or daughter speak softly to their parent and they hear clearly for the first time in many years. 



The man shown above is 60 years old with bilateral hearing loss. He was fitted with a hearing aid for moderate hearing loss in his left ear. While the language barrier does present some issues when explaining how the hearing aid works or how to take good care of it, nothing hindered the gratitude this man showed when the aid was turned on and he could hear someone talking from across the room. A large smile broke out on his face and his hands were clasped together as he repeatedly exclaimed, "Yes! Asante! Thank you!"

Everyone who comes through the ENT clinic receives prayer over them. We have such an opportunity to spread the Word here and give the glory to God for how He works in our lives and the Kenyans. While the hearing aids we supply grant physical hearing, we pray that each who receives will also proceed to hear the Lord. We pray that each individual will hear the calling of Jesus and become one after His heart and goodness. I am constantly amazed by the Kenyans' faith, perseverance, and gratitude. I hope to model this as I grow as a person and in my relationship with the Lord. Thank you to all who have made this ministry possible and I cannot wait to share more in the upcoming week!



All the best,

Isaiah 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Week 1

 Week one has been full of surgeries and clinic visits.  I am always amazed how the hospital staff have no idea I am coming yet within two hours of starting my work the word is out and a line is forming.  The need for ENT services is so great here it is hard to walk from one end of the compound to the other without getting stopped several times to diagnose a staff member's problem.  

On Monday, my the surgical team had prepared a patient with a large salivary gland neoplasm.  This had previously been partially removed but recurred soon after her last surgery 4 years ago.  It was steadily growing and there was concern for malignancy.



Surgery was much longer than expected and very difficult.  Praise God that she is doing well with all tumor removed and no nerve damage.  She was discharged today praising God!

The remainder of the week has involved 2 days of clinic and 2 additional days in the OR.  We have repaired a complicated mandible fracture from a boda boda (motorbike) accident.  Today we operated on a patient with a large facial cyst which went well.  Clinic has had a variety of patients with tonsillar issues, hearing loss, tumors of the jaw, voice box and neck.  We have been busy fitting the hearing loss patients with hearing aids. 


I have had 2 general surgery residents to teach this year which has been a real blessing.  They are so skilled and are hard workers.  This may be the only ENT experience they have before they graduate so it is important to equip them with as much experience and knowledge as possible.  God is training them up for many "acts of righteousness for His names sake"!

Thank you again for the prayers.  I need everyone of them.
Chase Miller



Sunday, July 25, 2021

We arrived safely!

Thank the Lord we have arrived at Tenwek.  The 14 hour flight was easy and all our luggage arrived. We were checked at customs but allowed to pass through without taxes.  We collected supplies and drove up to the hospital yesterday afternoon and evening.  Below are a few sights from the road


Human donkeys

Roasted corn or Hepatitis on a stick!



Today we will set up the clinic and prepare for clinic tomorrow.  Praying for a good rest tonight!  Thank you for all your continued prayers.

Blessings,

Chase

Friday, July 23, 2021

On our way

 We are on our way again!  Jimmy, Isaiah and I are at JFK about to board Kenya Airways for a 14 hour journey to Nairobi, Kenya.  We will pick up supplies in the store and head west to Bomet.  This is another 5 hours depending on check points.  We hope to be at Tenwek Hospital by Dusk Saturday- a 30 hour journey excluding the 7 hour time change!  All our luggage was accepted and without a change in Europe we should receive everything on the other end.

Thank you for your prayers for travel mercies.  It has been smooth sailing already.  Please continue to pray that the Lord fills us up with his Holy Spirit to be poured out on His people in Kenya.  I am praying that His love would flow in the form of healing, life, and provision.

Below is my letter sent to you all-

God Blessing you,  Chase


We are heading back to Tenwek Hospital this month.  Despite many obstacles, including a surge of COVID in the region, the door remains open to serve the Kipsigis and Maasai people.  We are hearing that the western part of the country is seeing high rates of COVID.  Specifically, Bomet county where Tenwek Hospital is located, has restricted movement in and out as well as curfews in place.  Vaccination rates in Kenya remain less than 1%.  We will be moving back in time as we travel to serve.  It feels like there will be many barriers preventing patients from getting care.  We have been praying that like Jericho the Lord will tear down the walls.

 

When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in. Joshua 6: 20

 

Jimmy, Isaiah and I will be traveling together.  Our plan is for Isaiah and I to work in the hospital together.  I will be working with a general surgery resident as usual and operating 3 days and clinic 2 days a week. Isaiah will be performing audiograms and helping dispense hearing aids.  Jimmy may be restricted from traveling in the regions around Tenwek so he is hoping to rent a Duka in town to dispense water filters. 

 

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

 

Kitoben Children’s Home will be a frequent weekend visit.  The plague has driven up the cost of food and they struggle monthly to feed the children.  We are receiving frequent pleas for assistance.  .  School is in session and teachers need to be paid and fed.  We look forward to seeing them and assessing the situation.  We are praying for a multiplication!

 

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.  Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied.  Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number who ate was four thousand, besides women and children.  Matthew 15:35-38

 

As often happens before we leave, I am overwhelmed by my insufficiencies.  I feel I am empty handed and do not have what the people need.  Their sickness is advanced and their poverty is great.  

 

His grace is sufficient for His power is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12:9.  Lord manifest your power!

 

I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.  As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.  Psalm 123  Lord have mercy on your people!

 

Thank you for your support and prayers.  You stand beside me and lift my arms in the battle as Aaron and Hur did for Moses.

 

Chase, Jimmy and Isaiah

 

 

 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Fourth Week

 This is a 2 year old boy with what was described as noisy breathing. he was not walking and developmentally behind.  over the last 3 weeks his breathing has worsened to the point where he was weak and eating poorly.  below is a photo of us in the operating theater urgently treating his upper airway blockage.  


This is a difficult surgery in a US setting but in a resource poor hospital we were hoping for a miracle.  The patient had papillomas on his vocal cords and just below the cords.  these were large and blocking his ability to breath.  With the tools that we had we were able to remove enough to stabilize his airway.  We were able to avoid performing a tracheostomy which was the likely outcome I told his teenage mother. All glory goes to the lord.  Below is the patient post operatively, breathing easily and ready for discharge to home.

He will need further follow up as these can return.  But this was a great witness of the power of God to his young mother.

We did many other surgeries this week.  Below is a vascular malformation in a 12 year old that was removed.  Unfortunately he had to return a second time to the OR today for bleeding. 


God was so present this week as we worked steadily to try to accommodate all the patients needing surgery.  The surgery resident worked tirelessly and I am so grateful for his help.  Despite the long hours in the OR and clinic there were many that will have to wait.  It breaks my heart to leave them but I know that is God calling me back again soon.  We are on our way home now.  We have arrived at Nairobi airport after our 5 hour drive.  We have 5 hours waiting and then off to Germany, Newark, and hopefully Rochester by late Sunday night.  Thank you for prayers for safe travels.