Friday, November 28, 2008

Children's Hospital

Kirstin and I went back to the market (3rd trip today) to get 50 bananas and 50 muffin type pastries, but they were out of the muffins so we settled on 50 bags of popcorn. We then went to the Madvanhi Children’s Hospital. Last year I visited the general hospital and that was a difficult trip, but when all you see is children, it’s a different experience altogether!

Having returned not even an hour ago, I am still processing it, but all I can say is that it makes me say “this world is so messed up.” We went to both wards – handing out bananas to the children and popcorn to the mothers. There were about 40 children in the wards (from 3-days-old to 8 or 9 years old). Every child had an IV – some had it on the side of their head instead of their arm (assuming that it is hard to find veins on dark skin and they can move too much since they are little). I saw little ones vomiting, getting blood transfusions, sleeping, and just sitting or laying there.

The one image etched in my memory was Sumara – a 3-year-old who weighed 6.5 kilos (14 lbs). She was a skeleton – loose skin gathered around her thighs and arms. She was eager to eat her banana and her hands (the only part of her that looked like a 3-year-old) were too weak to peel it, so I did it for her. She was sitting all alone a cot – a tiny and frail, but beautiful girl. As a mother of a 3-year-old (who weighs 36 lbs), I can’t imagine, can’t imagine being Sumara’s mother, but can’t imagine that this is how it has to be – so much injustice. A lady soon came and I assume it was her mother – she didn’t speak English, but I think she said Sumara has TB. I just wanted to fix her - make her better so she didn't have to suffer. I wanted to help everyone of those precious children.

So here we are again – still processing the same thing – how unfair the world is. Not knowing which of the children I saw today are going to be taken Home and which ones will return to their families and villages. It’s so different from what we are used to and this was only one hospital - in one city, in one small country in Africa, in the world. There are millions and millions and millions of Sumaras out there. How am I, how are you going to live different in light of that?

1 comment:

  1. Morgan,
    It's great to read all these today, we're home!
    I have tears of joy and sorrow as I follow your days... and oh, how I wish I were there too. Give hugs to all the women for us. Can Gertrude make me some sesame balls? We love you and miss you and know you are where you should be. We'll call. M&D