November 3rd of 2013 brought the arrival of a Canadian surgical team to Grace Hospital. The team was made up of a general surgeon, an anaesthesiologist, two operating room nurses and two recovery room nurses. We were very blessed to have the surgical hands of Dr. Cadili, as previous experience working in field hospitals in war zones well equipped him for the task. When dedicated people come together for a common goal, miracles do happen and that is what we observed over the next 3 days! 38 patients, including 5 pediatric cases, underwent successful surgery during this surgical camp. Thanks to generous Canadian donations, namely Calmar Community Baptist Church and the surgical team of their precious time, these surgeries were offered free of charge.
Previously in November of 2012, a Canadian team visited India and observed the needs of the community and a decision was made then to conduct a surgical camp for these underprivileged people. Previous to the surgical camp, our consulting surgeons were reluctant to do surgical cases in Navapur, but with the success of the 2013 camp the story is changing! Still, the current situation is not all rosy. The Navapur region depends mainly on two other regions, Dhule and Nandurbar, to provide the medical personnel for surgical care and any other specialist treatment. Due to shortages of these medical personnel, Grace Hospital is equipped with surgical ability only 2 days a month.
Meet Padvi Mavli, a 40-year old woman from a remote village called Charanmal. Padvi had beensuffering with an epigastric hernia for the past five years. She had gone to a government hospital to consult regarding surgery but the cost involved was equivalent to one year’s wages. She had no choice but to live with this painful hernia as there was no way for her to pay. Thankfully, Padvi’s village is one of the ones the Grace Hospital outreach team regularly visits and they were able to offer her free surgery in November! Imagine her delight! Words will not be enough to express how we felt when her feeble voice uttered, “Danyavad Prabhu” which means “Thank you LORD,” as she was coming out of her anaesthesia! Picture here with two our nurses, she has recovered well and is back home.
Rajendra Nikam worked as a clerk in a primary health care centre in the Navapur district before he suffered an automobile accident 10 years ago leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. For four months he was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai and underwent many surgeries. Doctors did their best but the accident had caused damage beyond repair. His wife and three children were left with no choice but to depend on his family to support them. In May 2012 Rajendra Nikam came to Grace Hospital as he was in a critical state. Being bedridden for the past 10 years had left him with severe bed sores, renal failure and anemia. After a few days of hospital admission he was adamant to go home and requested to be discharged. We did as the patient requested but his care did not end there. Titus, a nurse associated with Grace Hospital, volunteered to continue providing home care for Rajendra for his bed sores by doing daily dressing changes. Additionally, the hospital was able to supply Rajendra with a good hospital bed in lieu of the rusted metal bed he had been using. This change in beds has greatly enhanced Rajendra’s mobility and in turn, his healing process. Meanwhile, a complete stranger to Rajendra felt the burden to support the patient and sponsored his entire dressing and medical expenses. Rajendra remains an inspiration to all with his positive attitude and constant smile. The surgical team had an opportunity to visit Rajendra’s home while in Navapur and were extremely blessed to see him faring so well.
Rahul Nikam, 23 year old son to Rajendra, underwent surgery for gynecomastia. He had been complaining of pain in his right chest and when investigated showed an enlargement of tissue on that same side. When the surgical team came in November they were able to successfully remove this tissue much to the delight of this 23 year old male! This surgery went a long way in improving his psychosocial health. It can also be noted that his surgery was the first case using general anaesthesia at Grace Hospital and thank the Lord all went extremely well!
It came to the hospital’s attention that there was a man in a very bad way living in the house next to Rajendra Nikam. One day when Titus (one of our volunteer staff members) was helping Rajendra he decided to stop by and see what this man’s story was. The condition in which Titus found this patient was absolutely deplorable, no animal let alone human should be allowed to live in conditions like this. He was found lying on the floor, completely soaked in his own urine and stool. Due to some cultural beliefs some thought he deserved this and were reluctant to help. After going through many hoops the hospital gained the necessary paperwork and permission from his family to be able to take him in to the hospital and care for him. He is paralyzed down the right side of his body and suffers from some mental health issues which we are learning to manage. He is quite child-like and after all his mischief he rewards us with his innocent smile. Sakriya is our first long term in patient which has provided a lot of learning opportunities for our staff in terms of rehabilitation and caring for immobile patients.