In July of 2011 Samantha gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Samantha was only 16, and lived with her family. She became ill in January of 2012, abdominal bloating, severe pain, no appetite, and fatigue. She went to the hospital in Mufulira, Zambia, and was told she had a tumor growing in her abdomen that needed removed. The hospital needed $2,600 before they would do the surgery. Like most families in Africa they did not have the money. The ministry All God’s Children responded in love and sent the money. She was able to go to the private hospital in town where they performed a total hysterectomy and sent the tumor growing on her ovary for pathology to a nearby city. The report confirmed cancer.
She was told to go to the capital city, Lusaka, for further cancer treatment, where she could get a scan, further evaluation, and chemotherapy. However, they needed $5,000. The family did not have this kind of money. Two months past and Samantha grew sicker and weaker. She had severe abdominal pain and bloating, no appetite, dehydrated, and lethargic. The family took her to the local government hospital, and all they could do for her was IV fluids. Pain medications were not available. However, at the private hospital in town she was able to get pain medication. Her only hope was to go to Lusaka for further care. All God’s Children was able to respond in love again and sent $5,000. Then the family loaded up on a bus to Lusaka. Samantha’s mother, father, two sisters, and 9 month old baby went on a 6 hour bumpy bus ride to the capital city. She was in severe pain, nauseated, vomiting, and weak the entire way.
All God’s Children responded in love and had sent her baby son enough formula, baby food, and cereal for 5 months. Samantha had been unable to nurse the child for many months due to her illness. They arrived in Lusaka where Samantha was admitted to the only hospital in the country that treats cancer. She was given pain medications, blood transfusions, and IV fluids. They did a CT Scan, and found cancer ravishing her entire body. It was too late for any treatment. Samantha knew her Lord and savior Jesus Christ and went to meet him a few days later. This story is told because we don’t want to forget Samantha and the many others in Zambia that are unable to receive proper healthcare. All God’s children would love to have funds to give out to cases such as this in the future. We plan to dedicate a room in the Clinic of Hope to Samantha. It will be the women and children exam room.
(Name changed for story)
A mother walked into the clinic with her 6 year old and 4 month old daughters. She sat down and began lifting up her 6 year old daughter’s shirt to show the practitioner the lumps all over her body. The mother had a desperate look in her eyes, like you are my only hope. The child appeared extremely malnourished. She also had the saddest whimper we had ever heard. She did have enlarged lymph nodes all over her body. The child had been diagnosed with cutaneous tuberculosis months ago and treated with no improvement. The family was told to take the child to Lusaka, the capital city, for further evaluation and treatment. However, the family did not have the money to get the child to Lusaka. We did not have the ability to diagnose or treat the child. She appeared to have progressive lymphoma. We gave her antibiotics, Tylenol and Motrin, and money to attempt to get to Lusaka. WE PRAYED FOR HER!!! Then we treated her 4 month old for diarrhea and dehydration. The mother then took her two children home to a dirt floor, one dying and in excruciating pain, and one with diarrhea. Our hearts were broken into pieces. This is why we want a free clinic in Murundu to catch cases like these early, to educate about clean water and hygiene, and to provide a higher level of health care.
Women at the Clinic
We treated many woman who needed further evaluation from a gynecologist. Certain women described problems such as severe pelvic and vaginal pain. They also described clinical symptoms of complications after childbirth. These women have nowhere to go. They live with endometriosis, rectoceles, cancers, infections, and more that will never be treated.
Chronic issues found at the clinic
We had patients come in with blood pressures of 200/110. They were diagnosed with high blood pressure months prior and unable to afford or find the medication they needed. Many times physicians will write them a prescription for medication and the patient goes to the local pharmacy and find they don’t have it. They don’t have any other options. So they walk around with a crisis hypertension and severe headaches. We had a few patient come in with undiagnosed diabetes, blood sugars in the 450 range. There was also a known diabetic who was desperate for insulin, syringes, glucose monitoring equipment. She is one we won’t forget, she said I either feed my 7 children or get my insulin. In Zambia there is not a huge amount of chronic issues because there life expectancy is a mere 49 year old. However, the simple ones like diabetes and hypertension should be treated in this day and age. On our short term trips with limited resources and follow up we are not able to treat the chronic problems. Our goal is to have the Clinic of Hope running by 2017, we would love to have the shelves stocked with hypertension meds and diabetic meds and supplies to give these people quality of life. They deserve this!!