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 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 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