Some days you fall into bed and you hardly know how to process everything that has taken place that day. As your mind retraces the steps, all you can say is "Oh, Lord...I'm in awe of how you have directed today."
Yesterday was the end of a very good, but very busy week. We had a lovely week with some visitors from Australia. They were a wonderful couple that our whole family really enjoyed having here.
Friday morning, Eric was to leave at 7 AM to take them to the airport...a five hour drive away. He was going to take the three older boys. At the very last minute, Benaiah also decided that he wanted to go. While everyone was waiting in the van, I brought Benaiah inside and scrambled to find clean clothes for him, wash his face, get his shoes and pass him his breakfast. It delayed the whole trip about 3 minutes.
They all left and the girls, William and I came inside to finish our morning routine. About 15 minutes later, Eric called.
"Dianna, I just witnessed a very bad accident. We are transporting a small girl to the hospital.
I don't think she's going to live."
He had been driving through a trading center when he saw a young girl get thrown into the ditch because a boda (a motorcycle taxi) had hit her. He also saw the young lady who was a passenger on the boda get thrown off.
He had a brief second to decide what to do. Foreigners are often cautioned against stopping for accidents like this...especially one that involves a child...because of large crowds that quickly form and can be quickly swayed to blame the rich foreigner. But there is a child, unconscious in a ditch! I'm so thankful for the grace that was working in his heart and in the hearts of our visitors. They stopped, jumped out and began to help. And by God's grace the crowd was thankful for his help and readily accepted it.
Since we live in a country where there are no first responder ambulances, our visitor took the girl, who was bleeding profusely, into her arms and into our van. The girl obviously had a severe head injury and a severely broken leg. (The bone was protruding.) Our visitor held her as she bled and vomited and slipped in and out of consciousness. They also loaded up the boda passenger who had some minor injuries.
On the request of the family, they first headed to a nearby hospital. But the hospital was locked and there were no doctors to be found. So they turned around and headed back in order to bring her back to Mbale. Eric had also called another friend of ours, Milton, who drives for us. He got in our other car and started heading up to meet Eric. They met at the scene of the accident again. Since Eric had to get our visitors to the airport still, they transferred the patients to our other car and brought them to CURE hospital here in Mbale. CURE hospital is a pediatric neurosurgery hospital that specializes in treating children with hydrocephalus and spinal bifida.
I met them at CURE and we were able to do a CT Scan for both patients. The older one was fine and she was then transferred to the regional hospital. The little patient, however had a fractured skull and a significant concussion. Strangely enough (except that we are working in God's economy), it was also discovered that she has hydrocephalus! Up until that point, the hydrocephalus was a-symptomatic. (Although her head is slightly large.) The doctor thought that her head injuries would likely heal okay, but that it could set off symptoms of the hydrocephalus. After the scan, the doctor stitched up her head wound.
Then we transferred her to Kumi Orthopedics (the same place I took William when he broke his arm). She had surgery that afternoon to repair her leg. She will likely be there for about a month as she heals.
Today, we drove up there to visit her and see how she is doing. She is still in a lot of pain, but the surgery had gone well. They had put a fixator on her leg.
We were also able to find out more about little Florence. She is 8 years old and in Grade 2. She lives with her grandmother. Her mother ran away when she was just a baby and her father asked the grandmother to take care of her. She calls her grandmother "mama." She is a pretty little girl in need of a lot of prayers still. She has a long way to go yet. They are an extremely poor peasant family. They didn't speak English, but their neighbors in the hospital ward were super friendly to translate for us. They also told us that the grandmother is a Christian, but not the father. The neighbors in the hospital ward were also Christian. The neighbors are there with 3 patients who were all in a car accident last week! The lady told me, "as soon as the girl and her grandmother came in yesterday, I knew in my spirit that I needed to minister to them. They had nothing with them because they came so suddenly and now are so far from home. So we've been sharing our dishes and basins with them and letting them use our phone." Isn't God so good? All night, I knew that they showed up at the hospital with basically nothing (a huge no-no here, as the family is responsible for everything!) and I was just praying that God would provide...and he did!! Through the body of Christ!
I cannot help but see God's handiwork over this whole thing...everything from Benaiah delaying the trip for just the "right" amount of time, to His providing the perfect visitor who could handle the situation and despite tears was able to literally be the hands and feet of Jesus to hold the bloodied body of a little girl until her mama was able to meet up with us (not all our visitors would have shined so brightly in such a situation!), to providing others in the hospital to help take care of them when no one else could. Doesn't God work in such amazing ways?
Please pray earnestly that her pain would get under control. Please pray that her brain will heal well and not set off any symptoms of hydrocephalus. Pray for no infections! Please pray that God would provide all that the family stands in need of! Please pray that Florence's father would come to know Christ. We witnessed to him and the ward neighbors in the hospital witnessed to him today. He could not deny that God had his hand on his daughter.
Her father and grandmother...