Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Abbie update

Some of you have been reading about Abbie for over a year now. She’s had a rough time, as you’ve been reading. My first blog entry (and the only one until now) was about her. It’s only been a couple of weeks, and a lot has changed in her situation. Arrangements were made with the clinic on the refugee camp so that Abbie could go there regularly to have the dressing on her ‘sores’ changed. We were hoping this would help to reduce the terrible odor of rotten meat emanating from Abbie as well as just help to manage the sores in some way. During her second visit for the dressing change, she began bleeding from the sores and required a transfusion. Fortunately, the bleeding was controlled. However, this made the severity of her condition much more imminent to us. Abbie still felt strongly about having treatment done outside of Ghana, but the reality of this ever happening seemed less and less likely – I’m not sure if any airlines would agree to carry a passenger who might start bleeding while on the flight. So we began to discuss with Abbie and her family the need to have surgery as soon as possible and, after prayer and discussion, Abbie went from looking at me, crying, sobbing out that she didn’t want to do any further surgeries or treatments here in Ghana to looking me steadily in the eyes and stating “I know I need to have the surgery.” Prior to proceeding any further, however, her Aunty wanted us to contact the family in Liberia to have their permission to go ahead. (This is because if anything happens to Abbie, the family could then turn and hold it against the Aunty – family discussions, consensus and approval is powerful in Africa.)

To sum it all up, everyone came together and supported Abbie in her decision to go ahead with the surgery. This past Saturday she had the tumors removed from in front of her right armpit, and also her right breast removed. (If the family in Liberia hadn’t accepted the decision for surgery, no matter how strongly Abbie and her Aunty felt about it, the decision to go ahead may not have been made.)

She is still hoping (and the doctor is also encouraging) that the radiation and chemo and whatever other treatments necessary for her will take place outside of Ghana, but we’re no further along with any success in that direction.

Meanwhile, we continue to pray. And we continue to thank God for the gifts he has given us – life, knowledge, wisdom, skills, medical and technical advances to save lives. And we continue to pray that we have the trust in God and the gifts he has given us, and that, as with all gifts given to us from anyone we love, we put them to the use intended.


At 1:46 PM, Blogger MJ said...

This is such great news. I know how enthused you were about the project with the blind when you were home. You've really accomplished a lot since you got back.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Whoops, the previous comment went in the wrong place, sorry about that


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