Saturday, May 31, 2014

Week 65 - A trip to the hospital

Two of our sons arrived safely from U.S. Monday evening!  We are traveling with them seeing different areas of Uganda -- more about that next week.

We have 3 hospitals in Gulu; Lacor-St Mary's, Gulu Regional Referral, and Gulu Independent.
Lacor is a Catholic charity hospital started by an Irish doctor team a few decades ago, has minimal fees and does a good job of taking care of their patients.  Gulu Referral is government owned.  No costs involved.  Patients largely watched over by interns and nurses.  Gulu Independent is private and very expensive by UG standards.  This is where we send our missionaries who are sick.  Quick in and out as there are no waiting lines due to it's high costs.  Our next door neighbor is a doctor from Serbia and works at Independent.  We have visited Lacor and Referral often.  One day recently we spent some time at Lacor visiting the son of our members who had been in a terrible bus accident about six weeks ago.  6 killed including the bus driver.  Emmanuel was sitting directly behind the driver and received extensive injuries.  He had 6-8 transfusions.  It didn't look like he was going to make it.  Burns on his body.  They did exploratory surgery on his abdomen to look for internal bleeding but found none.  That same day two elders from the branch administered to him and gave him a blessing.  The next day, he was much improved.  He has had good care for this area, Cost: about 250,000 shillings or $100.00.  

The following pictures are mostly from his hospital ward room but this is typically what you see at Lacor or Referral.

 The people is pink gowns are awaiting their time to enter the surgery theater.  It's like this nearly everyday.  I don't know how long one may wait, but rather than waiting in a bed they line them up and the nurse calls their name when ready.  Obviously, patients like Emanuel with severe injuries do not sit out here.  They are transported to surgery on a gurney, just like in the states.

Emanuel and Sister, about a month after accident 
 Sis Ricky, Emanuel's mom and Emanuel's sister.
 Roy on the left and William on the right who a couple weeks earlier had given Emanuel a blessing.  They rode up with us at this writing to give him another blessing as part of his foot was going to be amputated.  Burn wounds not healing.
 Emanuel's next door bed mate.  Most of the folks in Northern Uganda eat what they grow or pick.  This young man had climbed a mango tree to pick fruit, slipped and fell out.  He has a broken arm and ...
 ...Here is a photo of his leg x-ray.  Pretty clean break, wouldn't you say?  Life is hard in Africa.  Even eating can be hazardous.

Another broken leg.  Pins inserted inserted into this fellow's leg.  He was hit by a car while walking along the road.  Oddly, most on foot walk in the same direction of vehicles beside them so they are unable to see what is coming up behind them and no idea if they should be jumping out of the way.  We always walk facing oncoming traffic and try to teach our Church members to do the same so they can see what is coming.

  • Our dear sweet friend Sis Mary.  Works the emergency room at the hospital.  It is her daughter, Praise, we have written you about.  Cerebral palsy.  Thanks to our long time friends in SLC, Dennis and Dixie Anderson, we were able to get Praise some Atmit...a nutrient enriched porridge that has been about the only food Praise has been able to keep in her stomach.  The Church did not develop Atmit but after much research has improved the original porridge and it does much good for people in 3rd world countries around the untold number of lives saved.  Two of our son's who just arrived to safari with us brought us another 50 pounds.  It is going to the place that treats Nodding disease.
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  • Korihor’s teaching (A Book of Mormon  anti-christ) “ye cannot know of things which ye do not see” is the philosophy that all ideas and knowledge are derived from and can be tested by experience and that we can only know those things we experience through our senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, or taste. Since spiritual experiences involving revelation from God rarely pass through the senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing, or taste, those who hold to Korihor’s philosophy count them as meaningless.

  • President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, described an experience he had that illustrated the fact that spiritual matters do not typically include the common five senses:
    “I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. ‘You are wrong,’ I said, ‘there is a God. I know He lives!’
    “He protested, ‘You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!’ When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. ‘All right,’ he said in a sneering, condescending way, ‘you say you know. Tell me how you know.’
    “When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.
    “Sometimes in your youth, you young missionaries are embarrassed when the cynic, the skeptic, treat you with contempt because you do not have ready answers for everything. Before such ridicule, some turn away in shame. (Remember the iron rod, the spacious building, and the mocking? See 1 Ne. 8:28.)
    “When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’ The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. ‘You see,’ he said, ‘you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.
    “I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: ‘A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.’ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 151.)
    “Such an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, ‘Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.’
    “‘Of course I do,’ was his reply.
    “‘When did you taste salt last?’
    “‘I just had dinner on the plane.’
    “‘You just think you know what salt tastes like,’ I said.
    “He insisted, ‘I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.’
    “‘If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?’
    “‘Now you are getting juvenile,’ was his reply. ‘Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience—I know it as well as I know anything.’
    “‘Then,’ I said, ‘assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.’
    “After some thought, he ventured, ‘Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.’
    “‘You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.’
    “After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, ‘I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!’
    “As we parted, I heard him mutter, ‘I don’t need your religion for a crutch! I don’t need it.’
    “From that experience forward, I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 51–52).

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