Mercer On Mission

2015 Blog

2015 Summary of first week: Bristal

The first week of clinics was filled with adjustments. The adjustment to having no Wifi pretty much devastated our group, which was sad because these people live without that and other luxuries all the time, but you would never think they are missing out on anything. They carry joy with them wherever they go, and they are so grateful for everything they receive. That was a common theme and observation in our nightly debriefing meetings. We were all impacted by how kind and thankful all of the patients were, even the ones that we couldn’t really help because of either the lack of resources or the severity of their condition. It was truly humbling for me personally. One patient in particular that impacted me was a little girl about six years old, presenting with a seizure disorder and aspiration pneumonia. As soon as I saw her in her mother’s arms, I thought of little Lia Lee, from the book that we were all required to read before the trip. The story was almost identical, except in this case, the family didn’t have easy access to a hospital like the Lees did every time Lia had a seizure. The little girl was on medicine, but it obviously was not helping, and she was already listless from brain damage. She aspirated everything she ate, and was on a liquid only diet. Although she was 6 years old, she was only the size of a 2 year old, and very frail. It was really heartbreaking to witness, and she was only the second patient I saw on the first day of clinic. It snapped me into reality quickly. The only thing we were able to do for her was treat the pneumonia, and it is sad to think about what will become of her once we go back home. It did make me realize, however, that for the rest of this trip, it’s not the times that we can’t do a lot to help that I want to focus on, but rather I want to focus on all the good that we can do, and strive to do as much as we can while we are here. Her mother, just like all the other patients we’ve seen so far, was extremely grateful for what we did. Some of them just want to be heard, and appreciate us simply taking our time to hear about their lives and communicate with them. For that reason, I have been trying to love on them as much as I can, because if I can’t do much for their medical condition, I can at least show them love and compassion. I think that is our goal with Mercer on Mission: to take what we have been given and share it with the rest of the world, so that all may experience the blessings and love of Christ.

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