The Clinic Of Hope!
This is a guest post written by Katy Wilson, a nurse from Texas. She was a long term volunteer at the clinic. In this blog, she writes about how she witnessed saving the life of one child and the birth of another child at Clinica Esperanza’s New Birthing Center.
The work done at Clinica Esperanza is invaluable to the people of the island of Roatan. In just the last month, the volunteers and local staff have helped to save the life of one young boy and bring one sweet girl into the world. These are just two stories of the hope that Clinica Esperanza (the clinic of hope) helps to bring to many people on the island of Roatan.
The day started as any other day, until one worried father called me over because “his son was not breathing well.” Unfortunately I and the others with me assumed he was just overreacting. That is until I went over to his truck where a boy was lying unresponsive, completely limp and trying very hard to breathe. I quickly noticed that this boy was not well and had the father carry him straight into the clinic. Upon hooking him up to the O2 monitor we found that his blood cells were only carry 75% of the oxygen they could carry. Anything below 95% is worrisome in anyone, particularly children. We knew that he was quickly deteriorating and we did not know why. Immediately I ran to get the crash cart and prepare for intubation in case it was needed. Unfortunately, we did end up needing to intubate. Throughout the process the little boys O2 saturations fell as low as 28% for several minutes. Studies show that it only takes 3-5 minutes with low oxygen levels for brain damage to begin to occur. It took us about 30 minutes to fully stabilize the child.
The next big step was to find a way to provide the needed care for this small child. He needed to be placed on a ventilator and soon! Unfortunately there is no ventilator on the island which means someone had to manually bag him until we could get him to a ventilator. We also had the problem of finding enough oxygen tanks on the island to provide for the child. We used all the tanks we had filled at the clinic and even had to send someone to Anthony’s Key Resort to borrow their oxygen tanks. He needed to be transferred to the mainland quickly and safely. This is no easy task. It took all morning with several people calling around to finally arrange a transfer to the major hospital in Tegucigalpa.
I will never forget that father coming up to me and telling me that he and the mom had been in the other room praying the whole time we working on their son. I told him that was the absolute best thing they could do. Doctors and nurses can only do so much, but ultimately it is God who is in control and can save their son.
Miraculously, after a couple weeks on the ventilator and a long stay in the hospital the child was able to return back to the island. Just a week ago, he was back at Clinica Esperanza for a last checkup to ensure everything was still okay. Our doctors gave him a clean bill of health. It is truly a miracle and work of God that he did not experience any permanent brain damage from the ordeal. I did not even recognize the boy full of energy in our office now and of course he doesn’t remember us at all. It was such a blessing to get to be used by God to help save a life. This is the kind of work that the people at Clinica Esperanza are ready to do anytime we are called upon and it is all made possible by the donations of people all over the world. Whether it be the patients paying for healthcare, labs and dental work, or people donating online, or volunteers spending their time and money to provide medical assistance to the local staff, every little bit of donations makes a big difference in the people of Roatan, Honduras.
In other news, thanks to many donations, we have been able to open back up the birthing center at Clinica Esperanza. We have already had one birth and at least four more women that are ready to deliver in the next couple of months. It was very cool to see how nurses from the hospital, doctors from the clinic, and volunteers all worked together to assist this couple in the delivery of their new baby girl! Thankfully, there were no complications and it was a very fast and easy delivery. Mom and baby were able to go home in less than 24 hours, both happy and healthy!
Thanks to the Lord, both of these stories had happy endings! That is because of the expertise of the medical professionals, the availability of life saving medications and equipment, and the grace of God. This is a very special clinic that God has chosen to bless in mighty ways. I have loved my time here and look forward to my last month! I pray that God will allow me to continue to come back and help at Clinica Esperanza!