Dec 6, 2013

Lilian Update Friday Dec 6th

Kwame took me to Ridge Hospital @ 7am today.

Because it is a holiday in Ghana there was NO traffic, we got there in less than 20 minutes. Lilian was just finishing her morning sponge bath, thanks to her sister, Belinda. She was all smiles, she is alert, no fever, no headache, no coughing, no abdomen pain, chest tube is still draining fluid.

Per doctors, Monday should be the discharge day. The plan is to remove the chest tube, Xray her one more time and then if all goes well, she can go home that day. I will be at the hospital on Monday to help get her home, pay the bills, ensure we have all the info on post care, any follow up, etc.

Lilian is doing lung exercises (I am sure there is a fancy medical term that escapes me); she is blowing up two huge pink balloons. Today she was actually playing with her balloons, like any 8 year old child. She was all smiles.

The Knights and Ladies of Columbus visited the Children's Ward this morning and brought big party hats for all the children. I will post photos of Lilian with her hat. And yes she completed all her exams with exception of Math. She did extremely well. I will officially grade all of them and record her scores on her Term Report Card and the Annual Report Card we keep for school records. She got 100% on two of them, ICT and RME. And on the English exam I was so happy, she remembered all the nuances of the TO BE, TO DO and TO HAVE VERBS. The gender question she aced, the noun questions she aced, she also did well on the reading comprehension. She missed a few words on the vocabulary section, overall she did very very well. Her MOM came right before I was leaving and I showed her all the exams and she was very happy.

Lilian realized while I was there that the Mawuvio's students will go on vacation Friday of next week. When we talked to the doctor and she said Monday if all goes well Lilian can go home, Lilian immediately asked if she could come to school on Tuesday. I had to explain to her again that when she goes home she has to rest for two weeks. She was very disappointed. I shared a video greeting with her from all her classmates and she loved it, she giggled with joy. She asked me to play it for her 3 times. And of course all the MOM's in the room came over to see the video.

Lilian has three new roommates, George, Victoria and Vivian, probably ages, 5, 7, and 9 - they were all very sick. It is hard to be there and see the tiny little bodies in pain. The little baby, David that was next to her all last week, was moved to a crib. Belinda said his surgery is scheduled on Sunday.

Lilian is being cared for by excellent doctors. The senior house officer, (that is the title on the prescription slip) Dr. Maame Adwoa Brago Winful reminds me of my DAD. When she came in lastThursday morning and did rounds with the residents or junior doctors, she was tough. She gave orders to the nurses to move Lilian to room 2 where the very sick children are, she was upset that Lilian was not in that room to begin with. When the x-ray was ordered, we had a person ready to take Lilian in 10 minutes. When the lung was aspirated by injection, she was managing the entire procedure and 5 doctors total were around Lilian. When she left that day I heard her tell two of the doctors, "keep an eye on that girl in bed 2."

Dr. Solomon the admitting doctor on Wed night also did a great job of asking all the questions, his chest examination of Lilian that night took about 20 minutes. He did many manual taps, he listened, listened to her breathing, he also asked her to say ninety nine a few times while he was listening, he took careful notes of where the lung was not working. When Dr. Brago Winful listened to her lungs in the AM and counted her breaths, she was quick to ensure that Lilian got the care she needed. If we could have gotten the chest tube that day, it would have been put in, but Ridge Hospital does not stock that type of medical equipment. Kwame and I had to go across the city of Accra to the largest hospital, Korlebu and get the kit the following morning.

The process for the care is interesting. If you have a child in the Children's Ward, you have to have a family member there 24 x 7 caring for the child. That means bathing, eating, help when they have to use bed pan, etc. You also have to be there to buy the prescriptions. Usually after the rounds the doctors will write up the document, give it to the responsible party, that person goes to the pharmacy and gets the medications, brings them back, alerts that doctors and nurses that the meds are there and then they are administered. The X-ray for example, when they order it, you have to go to the office and pay, bring receipt back and then the patient is taken for the X-ray. Chest Tube the same thing, we got the document, we went to purchase, and when we brought to Ridge, it was put in. Lilian has many angels watching out for her. The La Paz doctor told us Ridge was the place to take her - the doctors are very good and they do indeed have care 24 X 7. Her older sister, Lilian happened to be home because she was sick and came home from boarding school. She has been with Lilian everyday at Ridge. They have a 8 month old brother, so the MOM comes everyday, but she cannot be in the ward very long with the baby brother. Kwame and I have ensured that she is getting the care she needs, Mawuvio's has paid for all the medical bills. And those bills will be covered by donations from a very special group of people in Atlanta. The teachers visited her on Tuesday and donated supplies to the family. And even Teacher Kaia had time on WED to go with Kwame when he went to check on Lilian.

Thanks for all the support all over the world for Lilian. She is indeed a special little girl. I will keep you posted.

Today as you can imagine the Kissemah compound is hoping. All of the MOM's took the opportunity to get laundry done ahead of Saturday. The lines are all drying clothes from all the families. I have not seen Godsway today, all of the other children are about, running, singing, a few a sharing a bike. One of the ladies is bradding someone's hair just outside my unit. It is hot hot hot today. I am taking it easy for a few hours.

Tomorrow I will get my report cards ready and work in the office a bit. Kwame is supposed to go tot Ayikumah with his older brother, David, so they can see Ben. Ben is the "last born" as they say in Ghana, they baby brother. Ben has been staying at the new school site to ensure that we don't have any issues out there.

I can hardly believe that Monday is my last week in Kissemah. Ten weeks have gone by fast. Ceci is already telling me that she is going to miss me.