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one day (part II)

I slept in the doctor’s lounge.  I got a call at 1 a.m. that a 30-year-old woman came in with shortness of breath.  She had developed heart failure during a recent pregnancy, and her heart was only 1/3 as effective as it should be.  Because of that, fluid was backing up into her lungs and […]

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one day (part I)

This is a 3-part blog series I wrote about one 28 hour on-call shift at the Hospital of Hope.  If the wifi works (which is a BIG if here in rural West Africa, I’ll post all three this week.) * It’s Saturday morning and I’m on call with a Family Practice doctor who’s visiting for […]

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my soul wanted you

Last week, one of the doctors at the hospital was working late at night when a nurse’s aide came running in from the women’s ward. “A woman’s intestines are under her bed!” he yelled. A 20-something-year-old woman had come in for emergency surgery on a large abdominal hernia.  A few hours later, she had gotten […]

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the dry season

It took over a decade, and more than three years of construction, to build the Hospital of Hope, which just opened its doors in March 2015.  The hospital is inside a walled compound, and contains an outpatient clinic, the hospital itself, six houses, five guest rooms, a recreation/dining room, a pool, a maintenance shed and […]

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while they were sleeping

Whenever I walk through the village of Mango, where the Hospital of Hope is located, little kids stop what they’re doing, point at me, and chant a word that means “white person” in their local language.  Well, actually, it literally means, “The Peeled One” because they think white people look like they’ve had their skin […]

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heresick

When patients come to the clinic, they have to give the medical assistants a reason for their visit. One of the most common complaints they give is, “Tout les corps fait mal,” which means, “The whole body feels ill,” or,  “Whole body pain.” I see at least a dozen patients a day who say that. […]