Her name is NawHtu, 11 years old. She has been having seizures which began when she was 6 years old. She has had a total of 15 seizures since that time. On April 5, 2023 she had a seizure while squatting near the open fire in her house.These split bamboo houses are frequently just one room with a fire place for cooking right down on the floor. She fell in! Only her father was in the house, but it was early morning, and he was sleeping. Somehow, he heard her scream, and he was able to come and lift her out of the flames, but her left arm, hand, and fingers were badly burned with spots of 3rd degree burns to the fingertips. There were also 2nd degree burns to her forehead and nose. The family was able to take her to the clinic initially, but did not return for treatments, instead they painted her burns generously with a concoction of tree sap and pounded rice! It hardened like a black plaster cast, causing some of her fingers to contract, and the infections underneath sent the pus oozing out.
By the time I saw her she had a high fever from the infections, and there was no way for me to remove the black “Cement” stuff. I had her soaking in coconut oil and messaging the fingers. In a few weeks we saw a lot of improvement. We must get her medical treatment for her seizures, but in this area the doctors won’t do anything unless they witness the seizure. I can treat her myself, but she also needs plastic surgery to her hand. So far, she has had 5 more seizures.
When you are a citizen in Thailand you need to go to the hospitals in your province for care otherwise you pay the entire bill! But we decided to take her to MaeSot’s International Hospital in a different province. The reason being that in this private hospital you get excellent care, at a price! It was worth it to us for this girl to be evaluated and treated properly. She was placed on anti-convulsive medication and advised to see a surgeon for plastic surgery on her hand. Next we took her to a hospital in ChiangMai province, her province, where her care would be virtually free! She was evaluated in Omkoi, but referred to a larger hospital in northern ChiangMai province 6 hours away. Traveling now is desperately difficult, because rainy season began super early this year. We are praying for the Lord to help us get NawHtu out for her surgery. It will take two trips at least, 6 hours away! Seems impossible, but God is a God of impossibilities!
Another patient we are very concerned about is ChaLee, 62 years old. He has a young wife and 7 children. The youngest child is 7 months old. This man somehow developed an infection in the upper left anterior chest wall. This caused him so much pain that he went out and hung himself on a tree. Fortunately his 17 year old son found him and got him down – still alive. One week later when we were told about ChaLee and visited him. We saw the marks around his neck. His fever was high and the place of infection caused pain all through his chest, neck, and head. He said he didn’t care about his wife or children, all he wanted to do is get away from the pain. I put a charcoal poultice on his infection, and started him on antibiotics, but as we checked on him 2 days later, the infection looked the same. He doesn’t own a Thai citizenship card at all, therefore we must to pay for everything done in any hospital, but we know a way to purchase an insurance paper for people at the local hospital. After it is approved it will pay for many things, but not the real expensive treatments! We were able to purchase it successfully. We returned to his house 3 days ago, ready and willing to take him to that hospital the next day. It was raining, we were driving the truck so hard for us, plus the patient refused to go with us the next day.
Some of the people we take care of, have no idea what we go through to take care of their physical needs. We reach them by motorbike first for evaluation, then determine how best to handle their case. The hours of time, the difficult journey, and the weariness of travel. These people are too ignorant to even be thankful. But God knows! All our patients have no idea what happened in the hospital, what the doctor said, what the treatment or follow is, and no idea what the medication is for. When I accompany my patients through the local hospital system here, and the nurses and doctors see how much I care about them, they are given better treatment. I can talk to the doctors because they know English, and I can tell when they give proper care and follow up. During the Covid scare I was not allowed in the hospital which was very difficult.
O dear friends, I want to write so many more pages of experiences here, as we struggle from day to day meeting the needs of the sick and dying. These are all precious people. They come to my house for help at inconvenient times, just when I’m trying to cook, eat, or perform some function etc. Sometimes the cooking never gets done, or the eating doesn’t happen for hours! Our plans are ever changing. Sometimes we are called in the middle of the night, and we find ourselves half awake, on the motorbike, cold, wet at times, trying to avoid the mud and find smooth spots to drive on. But I always feel the hand of God, and His advice on how to help each precious sick and suffering one. Before leaving we always pray and lead them to Jesus that way! O praise to His Holy Name!
“When you neglect to offer prayer for the sick, you deprive them of great blessings; for angels of God are waiting to minister to these souls in response to your petitions!” Medical Ministry, 195
“However trying their labor, the true workers for God do not regard it as drudgery. They are ready to spend and be spent, but it is a cheerful work, done with a glad heart.” COL 402.5
(I am unable to add pictures to my stories now because they won’t upload any more. I’ll wait until I see a technical person who can help me)!