There’s so such thing as quality assurance or JCAHO certification in many hospitals overseas. So, after being shocked by things around Scheer Memorial Hospital for the first three months, we became immuned to pretty much everything. You would also be if you were witness to bricks used as weights for traction; sleeping bags strewn in the hallways for patients when the beds were full; the surgeon walking out of surgery to the maintenance shed so he could retro fit a cranial brace to fit a leg; or a child scream through stitches across his face for lack of anesthesia.
Yeah, you pretty much have to be ready for anything to survive. That’s why when we thought we heard some kind of bleating sound coming from the X-Ray department as we were walking across the hospital courtyard, from home to work one morning, Roy pulled me by the elbow saying, “Just keep walking. It’s way too early in the morning to wonder what that could be. Just keep walking.”
About an hour later, I saw Dr. Rick saying goodbye to his patient. There he was–affluent surgeon, who once lived in the same neighborhood as Tom Hanks, now turned missionary–taking care of the goat of a friend of friend of someone he barely knew. A couple hours of hospital time, x-rays, an orthopedic consult, follow up visit, medical supplies–all pro bono.
Yeah, we saw a lot of strange stuff in that hospital that one would never see in the Western world. And all that we saw made every day so fulfilling and meaningful.
Feature image by Tobias Federle on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “neither shockers nor surprises”
The most heart wrenching hospital sight I’ve seen was in northern Laos where ADRA had recently provided them a clean water supply so they did not have to carry water to the hospital for their procedures from the paddy fields. The hospital crew lacked almost everything and we felt very sorry for their plight.
Those memories never fade, do they?