Difficult Choices – News from Veronica


We know death is inevitable, but there are good and bad deaths.

A young brother and sister were knocked over by a car. They were communicating when they reached the emergency department, but first one succumbed to a major bleed in his brain and later I learned that his sister was struggling to stay alive in ITU.

Patients with TB cannot be nursed on the open ward and we only have one single room in ITU to monitor patients needing a ventilator, but we had two such patients. Now we only have one….

We question ourselves as to whether we could have handled things differently.

Some patients are afraid when they are ill to seek appropriate help. It is easy to deny you are sick if the family cannot afford treatment, if you have witnessed friends and family going to hospital too late for treatment and so having poor results, you are disinclined to rush there yourself. For some healthcare staff caring for people who then die, especially when they are know that things could have been different, produces a hardening in their attitude, which may be a self-preservation tactic for them, but limits their availability to the patient and causes repercussions with other team members.

There are some truly inspirational people working here and some delightful patients, but many others struggle on. We do need and appreciate your prayers and messages to provide the best healthcare available in these challenging conditions.

It has been a great blessing to share an apartment with two other short termers that I met last April. We have shared special Easter celebrations with the other Christians in this community, but we cannot ignore the huge problems in providing good healthcare for the people living here. Like us Kenya will have a general election this year. Let us pray that people of integrity will be elected who have a clear vision to make changes that benefit all the population and not be distracted by false goals.

P.S. I have just been up to itu. The little girl is recovering. She has many broken bones and will be in hospital for a while, but she is breathing on her own and talking. I don’t know if she has been told that her brother died yet.