I have to confess-I am an Adele fan; she has a great voice. So I am delighted to use the title of one of her recent songs for this blog. Last night, I received a call out of the blue from one of my former patients, Alice. I met Alice when she was 20 years old in 2011, when she came in with a chronic cough, which was provoked by eating. A longish work up ensued which revealed that she had a fistula between her esophagus and her trachea-in plain language: she had a connection between her esophagus and her airway, meaning that every time she ate, the food went into her lungs. So, she was starving to death, among other things, because she couldn’t eat. She eventually was referred to the Central Hospital of Kigali, which then referred her to King Faycal Hospital, where she was operated on twice, with excellent results in the end. It really was a team effort, as I helped pay for some of her medical costs; my Rwandan family medicine resident at the time, Vedaste, also gave some of this own money; a Rwandan Ruhengeri hospital volunteer (the only time I have ever seen one) accompanied her to Kigali; and apparently a worker at King Faycal also befriended her. Alice called to thank me and give me the news that she is doing well, is now married, and living in Kigali. We praised God together, for her healing. I was grateful that she thought to call me, and for that joyous moment we had together on the phone, remembering how close she had been to dying.
In other news from the King Family:We had a nice visit in Nairobi for RVA midterm. Here are some photos:
We were happy to have Team Heart come again to Ruhengeri Hospital to screen patients for cardiac surgery. I was thankful that the right patients seemed to find their way to the hospital; we had called the ones we knew, and were happy that even others also came. The visiting cardiologists, sonographers, and nurses were very patient and kind. Please pray for Team Heart as they make difficult decisions, in deciding which 16 patients, from the whole country, will get operated on.
I preached today in church, on Abraham and his faith. As usual, I learned a lot as I prepared for the sermon, and appreciated the reminder of how we are saved not by works, but by grace, through faith.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9