Rose came into the health center Tuesday struggling to breath, blue lips, unconscious and intermittently convulsing. Her weeping father placed her onto the hospital bed and collapsed on the floor crying. Behind him was Rose’s mother and several women whooping and wailing the cry of death.
We diagnosed her with cerebral malaria and subsequent lab showed to many parasites in her blood to count. The nurse Amos was able to put in an IV line. We found the needed medicines but still watched helplessly as the child’s breathing patterns changed and we seemed to be nearing the end. I asked the father if I could pray for the Rose. He blanched and then slowly nodded. I did not understand. The nurse then told me the father presumed I was going to give the last rights to the child. Why else would you pray? Uncharacteristically, I looked the father straight in the eye and said I do not serve a God who only rules over death, but one that gives life. (Inside I was begging Jesus to show us his power.)
After I prayed, I remembered the oxygen concentrator that the Grace team brought last January. After dusting it off, I ran around the health center looking for a power supply. None with 110V power could be found. So I biked as hard as I could to our home and brought back a small generator. When I arrived, the women were wailing and all the mothers in the ward seemed to have gathered around the little bed where Rose was lying. Jessica and Amos had started the IV Quinine. Amy found some artemether at our house and sent it down to the health center for us to inject. We started the machine and oxygen began to stream out. We connected the tubing to Rose and began to pray. Slowly, she regained color. Her body seemed to relax. Feeling a little better, we left the bed to see the other patients.
When I returned that evening with my KaDoctor (ka means little in Lubwisi) to check on Rose, Lilli and I found her already sitting up and smiling with her mother. Praise God for small miracles!