Friday, October 10, 2008

Gifty Update

(Our internet was down last night, so this is what I was hoping to post last night. Thank you all for your prayers for Gifty! We're about to go to the hospital and check on her.)

Gifty was discharged from the hospital this morning. Debbie and Andrew got her all settled in at her new home this afternoon. Unfortunately, the orphanage director (Fatu) called Debbie a few hours later and said she was very worried about Gifty because she couldn’t stop coughing, and she had a very high fever. We gobbled down some cassava and headed to Fatu’s to find Gifty coughing like crazy and burning hot!

After about 5 minutes, it was clear that Gifty needed to go back to the hospital. Because Gifty was technically discharged yesterday, they did not do a final checkup this morning when she was discharged. She developed the cough overnight, and the fever came along with it. Thankfully, the pediatrician told us that if anything were to happen, that we should bring her back. So, back to the hospital we went.

We went in the regular entrance, and we just told the security guy that the doctor told us we could come back. He sent us to the nurse’s station, and thankfully we saw the pediatrician at the end of the hall (she was already off duty). She came over, and couldn’t believe we were back so soon. Anyway, she escorted us to the ER and they immediately went to work. Poor Gifty, they had to try in both hands to get an IV going, and neither worked. She was still her feisty self—when she sensed a needle coming she would quickly shake her head back and forth in a ‘no’ protest. Gifty got a malaria test, which was negative, and then we were sent to the lab for blood work. We went back into the ER to wait for the results, and then the nurse tried again on the IV. It wasn’t taking so then she told us she would have to shave the side of her head and put the IV in her head…and we told her she could do whatever she needed to do.

This whole time Gifty is either coughing, crying, screaming, shaking her head no in protest or trying to sleep—she was exhausted! And then you’ve got people walking through to stop and look at what’s going on, and people peeking in wondering why a tiny little girl has got a white entourage with her. The IV in the head worked, and they gave her a few meds. We were then sent back to the nurse’s station, and they assigned Gifty a bed.

Now, to explain the bed situation.

Every room has anywhere from 5-10 beds in it. And when I say bed, it’s basically a step above a cot. Each patient has a caretaker who stays with them…they are fully responsible for cooking the patient meals, washing their clothes, etc. So each small room has got 10-20 people living in it. There’s no TV or magician walking around for entertainment. These people sit in these small rooms, being sick next to another sick person, all day long. So, Gifty was in a room with someone who had a bronchial infection…and apparently she picked it up the night before. And it’s more difficult for Gifty to fight the infection because of her condition.

Please be in prayer for Gifty. We will be going to the hospital in the morning to check on her. We are grateful to God that she has gained 20% of her body weight over the last 2 weeks! So now we can pray for Gifty’s health. Pray that she would get some sleep. Pray that the medicines would work. Pray for the doctors. Pray that she would recover quickly and fully. Pray for her adoption process. Pray also that God would provide a liver match for Gifty.

I’m exausted, so until next time…

1 comment:

Justin Buchanan said...

Your blog was recommended to me by a fellow liver disease child's parent. My son, Micah, was born with a liver disease and had a liver transplant 13 months ago.

I have read about Gifty. Here's my question: What can I do?

My family and my son have been privileged to live in the most blessed country and in a place with some of the greatest medical care (Duke University Medical Center).

What can I do? My blog is and my email is

I look forward to hearing from you.