Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday's Updates From Jake in Ghana

As it turns out, Little Miss Prosper is indeed perfectly capable of going to school now! What Jake perceived as a mental handicap upon meeting her at first, was a combination of her being quite afraid of her first glimpse of a ‘white man’ and taken aback about what was going on. She would not communicate or speak hardly at all. BUT, after Jake got to spend some more extended time with her yesterday, he noted that she may have some mild mental delays, but nothing severe aside from her physical handicaps. He reasoned that there is no reason she should be excluded from school, so off he went to find the school master and pay for her school fees. And today, she got to start school. :)


Our medical clinic in Asikuma is getting such a work out! Every day Jake is taking kids there for treatment. This morning when Jake was visiting the school that our sponsored kids go to, some little kids came running up to him saying, “You have to help Yaa! Something is wrong with her head!” Once Jake found her he saw that she had developed a huge infectious lump on her head that was not there (or at least not noticeable) yesterday. He took her out of school and took her to the clinic. It just so happened that the head district doctor was making his rounds and was at our clinic this morning…Jake said he took one look at the lump and said, “Oh my God – get me some gloves!” Here she is getting ready to get a shot to numb the site.

Jake said from there they had to slice the lump open with a blade to get all the infection out, and then closed it back up. Jake saw the whole thing and said he almost passed out because there was blood and infection everywhere. Once finished they gave Yaa the strongest antibiotic they had, and gave her instructions to come to the clinic every morning before school for the next 10 days to get the wound redressed. In addition to the lump of infection, Yaa also had ringworm of her scalp which is so common in Ghana. Fungal infections are everywhere and constantly spread throughout the community.

Our in-country staff member, Wisdom, and Jake had the opportunity to ‘lay hands’ on Graham today and pray for him to be healed.

A doctor appointment has been scheduled for Graham in Accra (the capital of Ghana) for next Thursday. I know that there are times when God chooses to heal through doctors. But I also know that there are times when God chooses to heal through the faith of his disciples alone. I’m shooting for the latter.

Lastly, Jake got to meet the pregnant mother with breast cancer today...

Her letter was translated to English, and I wanted to share it in her words so that you can feel the weight of her plea…

Dear Sir,

It is with great pain that I write to you this note. I am a mother of six children and I am now seven months pregnant. I have been informed of the good work the Lord is using you and your groups to do in Asikuma. May He continue to supply your needs according to His riches.

Please, my problem is I have been diagnosed of breast cancer and the doctor said after delivery I will be very weak and won’t be able to breastfeed my baby. I do not have anybody anywhere to help me in feeding the baby after delivery. I am pleading with you if you can help my baby survive for two years after delivery than I can handle him myself with solid food. I believe God is going to help me through you.

Yours sincerely….

So, you’ll notice that she said she is 7 months pregnant, not 3 months….had that detail wrong when I shared yesterday. This puts her due date in March, and Jake’s next trip to Ghana is planned for March. We’ve talked with our in-country staff, and we have all agreed that the answer to this one is: FORMULA! So, between now and Jake’s next trip, we are asking for donations of baby formula and bottle liners (specific details below). They do sell formula in Ghana, however, it is sparse and can usually only be found near the capital city. Any Ghana store would not have enough of a supply for what we need anyways because we will need to get this mother through March until August when Jake will be back.

I have been thinking through the concept of what form of formula to bring. They now have the pre-mixed kind that actually comes in disposable bottles. This would be SO perfect because of the unsanitary conditions in the middle of the village – but, much too heavy to bring in the suitcases. We just wouldn’t be able to bring as much as we could if we did the powder form. Jake asked Nurse Betty at the medical clinic her opinion, and her main concern with the powder form was that she wanted to ensure the mother mixes it with bottled water. They also have little plastic bags of water in Ghana that are much cheaper than the bottles and this is what most of the villagers drink. However, the bagged water is drinkable but not ‘clean’ like bottled water is. After talking with Nurse Betty, Jake concluded that our Foundation will buy the mother a supply of bottled water (which can be easily purchased in Ghana) for mixing with the formula, and it will be stored at the clinic (along with the formula). Each day the mother (who lives about 3 blocks from the clinic) can come to the clinic to collect a day’s worth of water and formula.

Which brings me to the next thing. Since this mother is not going to be able to just run to the kitchen sink and wash bottles, I would like to supply her with bottle liners. In case you are new to the whole bottle scene, there are some bottles that are made in which you slip in a plastic liner. Then you dispose of the liner after use. I think this would really help to keep things on the sanitary side for each feeding. I also would like to stick to the same brand of formula, so that the baby isn’t switched around to different kinds. So, specifically, here is what we will be collecting:

Similac brand infant formula – BLUE label (the one for ‘baby’s 1st year’)...

Boxes of Playtex Drop-Ins 8-10 oz
We will also take a few other ‘regular’ bottles just in case, so those can be donated too, but I would rather people donate liners as the majority. Nurse Betty at the clinic mentioned that there are other cases like this that happen where mothers cannot breastfeed, and that our medical clinic would also be appreciative of a donation of formula. So, the more we can get and pack, the better!

In the event that this mother gives birth before Jake's arrival in March, he is leaving some money behind in the event that they would need to purchase formula to get her through until the team arrives.

Lastly, Jake found out today that pregnant mothers in Ghana are issued a free temporary health insurance card, in which they can go into any clinic and receive care throughout their pregnancy and through the first 6 weeks after birth. Because of this mother’s case of cancer, she was strongly urged to give birth at our clinic (rather than in her hut) because they have the appropriate medicine to care for her after birth.

It’s probably not the most cost effective for donaters to ship formula to our house, so if you feel led to donate but do not live near us, please rather consider a monetary donation to our Foundation. You can do so via the link on my side bar, or mail donations to:

Jake Sullivan
315 Ridgewood Drive
Huxley, IA 50124

Payable to Kindgom Cares International.

Thanks for your support!

1 comment:

Amber said...

I just want you to know that I started following your blog a few months ago as we started down the path of adopting from Ghana. We recently lost our referral (your posts about going through the same have helped me immensely) and I am waiting on God to help me find my new path.
We also have an adopted son from Ethiopia and I wanted you to know that you have inspired me. Not sure where it will lead but we are planning a trip back to Ethiopia to see if God can use our hands and feet as he is using yours. You are an amazing family. Thank you so much for being a blogger ;)