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TODAY news for Thursday, September 17, 2007

Loma Linda University news

Yuka Adventist Hospital helps man breathe normally again

Before surgery
Before surgery
Located in Kalabo, a remote area of Zambia, Yuka Adventist Hospital’s close proximity to the Angolan border allows the hospital to cater to many of the refugees that are seeking medical attention there.

In January, an Angolan young man, age 23, came to the hospital seeking medical attention for a large mandibular tumor that had been obstructing his breathing.

The young man arrived at the hospital by canoe, and because of the heavy concentration of patients waiting to be seen, he was put on a three-day waiting list.

The hospital personnel noticed that he was very embarrassed about his existing condition. Each morning he assembled himself at the extremities of the waiting room with his face turned towards the corner, anticipating his name to be called.

Finally, receiving consultation by Douglas Singini, MD, chief of medical staff, the scheduled date for surgery was set for the following day. The charge for the surgery was to be K15,000 (US$3.57). However, the following morning, when it came time for him to be prepped, the patient was nowhere to be found. Three weeks later, he pulled up on canoe by the bank of the hospital.

To the hospital staff’s surprise, the patien
Seeing himself for the first time
Seeing himself for the first time
t had traveled home to Angola by canoe in order to find enough money for his procedure.

Under normal conditions, cases of this nature would be referred to a maxillofacial surgeon. However, Yuka Adventist Hospital is one of the referral centers for the region, and it would have been costly to send the patient to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia), so the procedure was to be undertaken by the doctors on hand.

Without the adequate supplies to conduct the surgery, the team placed the matter in God’s hands. After the team prayed, they began to operate.

During the surgery, various obstacles presented themselves, such as the voltage fluctuation and the cauterizing machine that didn’t work.

The surgery took a total of three hours to complete, and they closed with prayer over the patient, giving antibiotics with additional doses of prayer. Soon after, they sent the patient to the ward, and for the first day he couldn’t talk.

After two weeks of the patient gargling with salt water, doctors discovered that there was no infection  present. Each day the smile of the young man got larger and larger. His breathing returned to normal and he began to speak.

On morning rounds, one of the nurses noticed a small mirror held in the young man’s hand. At every opportunity, the patient glanced down at the mirror and marveled at the transformation that had taken place in just two weeks.

The young man was discharged from the hospital three weeks later.

Many Angolan refugees have been coming to Yuka Adventist Hospital for treatment. Many of these patients are unable to pay for procedures.

Yuka Adventist Hospital, as well as many other mission hospitals, is in need of medical equipment, supplies, and donations. For more information on how you can help, contact <ahi@llu.edu> or go to <www.adventisthealthinternational.org>.
Smiling after recovery
Smiling after recovery

TODAY news for Thursday, September 17, 2007