Since last post, not too much has changed with May-May's mother. She was moved to ICU almost two weeks ago with the docs thinking she would not last the night. Her family said their goodbyes, but today, she is still breathing....not completely on her own, but she is still fighting. She fell into a coma last week and the doc said that her brain is currently inactive, but her heart rate is down to 28 bpm. Despite pleas from May-May's family, her mother received a very expensive medication to boost her heart rate. In all honesty, they are ready to have her be with Jesus. She is suffering. The coma has helped to relieve her in some ways, as her brain can no longer process pain. However, it has just added to the suffering of her family.
Ate An-An and I went to see May-May's mother on Monday in ICU. Her daughter was sharing that 4 people die in that ward everyday in full view of all other patients and their families. Resuscitation is tried, though most often failed and only seems to add to the distress of the attending families. Watching each family weep over their loved one was difficult for An-An and me and we were only there for 45 minutes! I cannot imagine being there everyday, all day.
I watched as May-May's father, a deeply sincere and loving man, pumped mucous from his comatose wife's mouth, making sure that no sputum remained around the edges of her lips. He was gentle and caring. Made me cry. Her lifeless body only once in a while heaved with a heavy breath, her eyes rolled back in her head.
Meanwhile, we talked to her family asking them how they were feeling, if the nurses were kind to them and if they had enough food. We were very concerned for the quality of care they were receiving. As we were beginning to pray, a loud beeping sounded in the bed about two yards away....a man who had suffered a stroke was going into cardiac arrest. All the patients' families gathered around the man's bed to watch as a few nurses came to try and revive him. While this was taking place, the man's family walked into the hallway, stricken with grief and wailing. It was clear the man was not going to last the rest of the day....and lying there with the whole ward watching.....An-An and I started to cry. We prayed that May-May's mother would have the privilege of quietly walking into the arms of Christ without worldly pomp and circumstance or frightened stares.
As we were leaving, An-An and I felt a strong urge to ask if we could pray with the man's family as they sat weeping in the chairless hallway. They agreed. One lady attending was the man's sister; the other, his daughter. We asked if he knew Jesus and if they felt he was ready to go and they emphatically responded saying that he knew Jesus and had asked to go "home". So we decided to pray for their peace with his passing and that it would occur quickly....we gave them hugs, too....what else could we do? I cannot imagine watching a family member die so slowly in such conditions. I cannot imagine being the nurse that cares for those in the ward when 4 die everyday just in that wing of ICU! No wonder the nurses were cold and callous. We said a prayer for the nurses, too and headed home....in silence.
I love Ate An-An. She is my dearest friend here. She is a powerful woman of God and I have learned a new, sincere compassion from her. Being with her empowers me to continue. She is precious.
We had an opportunity to visit May-May in her home on Thursday bringing lots of food. She was so grateful and said that though I was going to the United States, she would continue to update me through An-An.
Speaking of which.....the time has arrived. Tuesday, Tim, Promise, and I will leave Davao and head to Manila overnight so that I can fly out early Wednesday morning on a jet plane bound for Oregon. Tim will return to Davao Wednesday night. I am so thankful he is coming with me to Manila, as being alone overnight with the Bird and not knowing my way around kinda made me nervous. Tim will send the Bird and me off. We are going to miss him terribly.
Tim has been so very busy with the Water Project and will definitely be giving you an extensive update soon. If you are impatient, please visit www.impactnations.com and click on Villages to see the latest in the Philippines. Also, if you are interested in the progress made in Haiti, check out what Impact Nations is doing in Carrefour, Haiti just by clicking on the link. God is on the move. :)
For the coming weeks, please be praying for:
The Bird and my safe travels out West - for lots of empty seats so we can sleep! Also, please pray that we are able to adjust quickly to the climate! It's COLD!
Tim's safety while we are away
TOTAL recall while taking my midwifery certification exam on February 17th - pray I pass!
Our health...it has been a little struggle these days
For May-May's family
And for our return to the Philippines, Feb. 26th
Thank you all so very much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. And again....thank you to those that commented on the last post....the encouragement is invaluable.