Here is the latest from Uganda. We took Nakiganda and Tendo back to Mulago (National Referral Hospital) on Thursday. We arrived at 10:30 and left about 5 hours later.
First let’s talk about Tendo. Her doctor reviewed her x-ray and formalized her on the schedule for May 11th. She will have a surgery to repair her diaphragm on the L side and to try to re-inflate the lung. She has to check in on the 9th and have paid ½ of the 2,300,000 shillings ($900) before the surgery can start. Then she has to pay the balance after the surgery is complete. This truly will be a life changing and quite possibly a life saving surgery for her. We have talked to Pastor Shalom of Word of Truth church in Konge. This is the church that Tendo’s family attends. We want to work with him to make sure that the local church and God get the credit for helping Tendo, and not a group of outsiders. Pastor Shalom told us that Tendo’s family had been trying to save up the 2,300,000 shillings for the last 2 years and really had made no progress. They came to the pastor with their concerns and he advised them to join him in prayer. He told them that they serve a BIG God and that He could supply the money for this surgery. I am not sure when these prayers started, but I think that I know why God laid it on our hearts to help. How cool is it that the supporters of Due Unto Others get to be an answer to prayer? The only thing better than answered prayer, is being an answer to prayer. I have part, but not nearly all, of the money pledged so far. So if you want to be a part of answered prayer for a girl with a smile the size of Texas, let me know. I am convinced that God will supply this money.
Now to bring you up to date on Nakiganda. We had to make a second trip to Konge to get Nakiganda. David went by to pick she and Tendo up, before picking us up on the way to the hospital. Nakiganda’s grandmother would not let her go. When we returned, the school head master had gone down and talked to grandmother for about 30 minutes and she finally agreed to let her come. We got to her clinic and our hearts sank because they told us that we were supposed to have made an appointment. David explained to them the situation and that it was very difficult for us to get Nakiganda there because of obstacles from her family. They graciously worked us in. As they called her name in the waiting room, there were gasps and snickers from the others waiting. As I think that I mentioned before, "Na" means girl and "Kiganda" means of her tribe. So it is like saying Oklahoma girl. After Jill visited with another mom waiting, the other mom could not believe that Nakiganda was 6. In fact, this lady let us go ahead of her in line when her name was called. I was a little disappointed in the “physical exam” done by the neurologist. He listened to her heart and to what we said and then quickly referred us to the endocrine clinic. His note clearly says “normal neuro exam” and he never even watched her walk. My only consolation about getting a 5 minute visit and punt to another clinic is I think that this guy is on the right track. As I have looked at this and done some research, I think that Nakiganda has a growth hormone deficiency. This would make sense in that she is proportionally small. It would actually be good news, to me, if this was the case. We could try to make arrangements for her to get daily growth hormone injections for her (if we get them given). We are supposed to take her back for blood tests and an Endocrinology appointment on Wednesday.
Some, non-medical, things that we are working on with Nakiganda are: 1.) We have talked to Pastor Shalom about getting her into the school that we worked in this week. She would start with the 2-3 year olds, but this would give her some interaction, intellectual stimulation, love, and a good lunch. They do not have a formal sponsorship program at this school, so we are looking into how we can make this work. Sponsorships at other Africa Renewal Schools is $35/month. So I think that we can make this work, we just need to figure out logistics. If you are interested in sponsoring Nakiganda in school, let me know. (DueUnto@gmail.com) 2.) The second thing that we are working on is hiring a social worker to live in the home as “hired help”. They could observe the situation, love and stimulate Nakiganda and make sure that she is getting proper nutrition. Dr Martin is looking for someone in the local church in Konge to fill this role. This position, plus supplementing the family’s food budget would likely cost about $70 per month.
So we are hoping to find a way to help Nakiganda medically, to help academically, and to help socially.
Please keep Nakiganda and her family situation in your prayers.