Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Dolly for Joy from Lou

A long winding road reminiscent of the foot of the Rocky Mountains led up, up, up and then down, down, down. The lush trees lined the tight curves as we passed the Rift Valley Academy, a world renowned international school for children. The Kijabi hospital sits on the side of the hills overlooking the fog-filled valley. In the pediatric ward, Mardi greeted me from a distance with a happy wave. Mardi, my U.S. pastor’s niece-in-law, warmly welcomed me as I prepared to conduct rounds with her and the two Kenyan residents she is carefully mentoring. We prayed before we set off to check on the 20 or so children stationed in their beds along with a caretaker. Mothers, aunts, or grandmothers stay (sleep, eat, bathe, etc.) with children in the hospital to supplement care. Further none are allowed to leave regardless of their health until the bill is paid.

Joy’s condition improved but not quite enough to release her from the hospital. She and so many other children admitted here suffer from dysentery. Although most of the children here are babies, even older children like Joy lack the nutrition needed to fight even the simplest diseases without the assistance of vitamin supplements and medical care. Joy was surprised, wary, and then quite pleased to receive her little gift. Although the surrounding mothers were happier to inspect the dolly while Joy was warming to the idea, she eventually welcomed her new patient with joy.