Tuesday 30 April 2013

Mr Charles

Many of the Mission Direct volunteers will know Mr Dore, one of the residents at the King George VI Home for the Elderly - better known as Mr Charles. He is thought to be the oldest resident at the home with an estimated age of 84!
He has been quite poorly recently, he has an enlarged prostate and when I went to visit the home a few weeks ago he was in agony as he hadn't been able to urinate for around 5 days. The home had called the dispenser who treats the residents but he had been unable to insert a catheter. We arranged for Charles to go to the Adventist Hospital in Waterloo where they were able to catheterise him and make him comfortable. He spent almost a week at the hospital before being discharged again into the care of the King George VI home.
He still had the catheter in when he went back to the home and he was given an appointment to return to the hospital one week later. Unfortunately the King George vehicle was not available so he was unable to keep his appointment. On advice from the doctor the catheter was removed after a week.
Last week I went back to see how Charles was getting on and he was in the same situation again, unable to urinate and in a lot of pain. We took him to the hospital last Wednesday, where he was admitted again. When I went to see him on Thursday he was very poorly, he didn't recognise me, was very confused and agitated and he was obviously in a lot of pain - I was very worried about him.
I went back today not knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. He very alert and chirpy, we had a nice chat and I've arranged to go and see him again in a couple of days.
I am concerned though about what will happen to Charles when he is discharged from the hospital, the home aren't able to give medical care and unless we can find a solution I can foresee him ending up in the same situation again and again. I am hoping to be able to contact his family so we can work out a care plan for him.
Please keep Charles in your prayers.
The photos below show Charles before he was admitted to the hospital and after he had been treated - he has given his permission for the photos to be used here.
Before admission to hospital
After treatment

Tuesday 23 April 2013

One Week On and Feeling Better

It's a week since I posted to say that I was poorly and I am feeling much better now. I still have pain in my right side and pain in my upper tummy when I breathe deeply - but nowhere near the amount of pain I was feeling this time last week. I'm still taking two types of anti-biotics, painkillers and various other medications, but I think I'm well on the road to recovery now. I still don't know what it was, but I'm grateful to be feeling better!! I will be going back to the hospital at the end of the week for the doctor to check me over again.
It has been a busy week with Nigel and Terry (the CE of MD and one of the MD trustees) here with meeting after meeting with various contacts, organizations, officials and friends. They leave on Thursday after which I am looking forward to some time off.
I need to visit the provinces, I have people I need to see in Kambia and Kenema and then I plan to have a few days off to relax at Tiwai Island - I want to get out of the city for a few days to relax and recouperate.
The way the teams have worked out this year my first day off since I got back from Gambia in February was to be the 15th of April.....but of course that was when I was sick! I am really looking forward to having some down time and to spend some time with my Sierra Leonean families - I do feel that I have neglected some of the kids since I've been here as I've not been able to spend any quality time with them.......I need to think of a way to make it up to them!
I really do appreciate prayers for my continued recovery - thank you!!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Farewell to the Team - Hello Poorly Tummy

The Easter team left Sierra Leone on Sunday.....11 of them to head back to England and one to head back home to Romania. The team spent the two weeks here building the new toilet block for the Nehemiah Project in Kissy and also repainting the Palava Hut at the Adventist Hospital in Waterloo that Mission Direct built in December 2011.
One team member spent the two weeks with the staff and patients at the Waterloo Hospital, helping with admissions, taking blood pressure and observing the doctor as he did his rounds and other staff as they went about their duties - on the last day at the hospital we were given permission to observe an appendectomy operation......not something many of us get to see everyday!!
Since BA have taken over the BMI route between Freetown and Heathrow the flight times have changed - we had to leave the accommodation at 04:30 to catch the 06:00 ferry to Tagrin on order to be able to get the flight. I said my goodbyes to the team at the airport and as I made my way home for a much needed rest my tummy started to hurt......it slowly got worse until it was so bad that by half past two in the afternoon I was in bed......I stayed there until almost 4 o clock in the afternoon the next day, when I decided that I should see a doctor. It hurt when I was laying down, it hurt when I sat up, it hurt to breathe and it hurt when I coughed.......whatever I did it hurt! I've never felt anything like it before and as I'd seen an appendectomy just a few days before my imagination went into overdrive so I thought it best to get myself checked out. I went to the Adventist Hospital in Waterloo where the doctor examined me and arranged for me to have two injections and prescribed me some medication. Later that night I found out that Steve (my regional manager) had the same symptoms.....and while I felt sorry for him I was relieved that it wasn't just me - making it more than likely that it was something that we had both eaten that was giving us the problems.. It's now Tuesday evening and while I am still uncomfortable I am feeling much better and hopeful that after another good nights rest I'll be on the road to recovery.
I have the Chief Executive of Mission Direct and one of the Trustees arriving here on Thursday and I know that they are going to keep me busy so I need to be better by then!! Your prayers would be much appreciated!!

Thursday 11 April 2013

Nehemiah Toilets Update

The work on the new toilets for the Nehemiah Project is progressing well
Working on the cess pit

Building the cubicles