So we finished up dinner with the lead surgeon and his family on our last evening in Bongolo and headed back to the guest apartment to pack. I was exhausted from 2 weeks of busy operating room days and teaching. The plan was to pack and get a much needed good nights sleep as we had an early departure the following morning. Well, God had a different plan. As I was getting my things together, I received a call from the surgeon about an emergency case. They wanted to bring an 8 year old who had a thyroidectomy earlier that day back to the operating room as she was bleeding in her neck and causing airway compromise. “Seriously God, this is the case you want me to do on my last night.” Getting this patient off to sleep would be a challenge in the US even with all the gadgets and resources available at my disposal. I could only imagine how this would go here in the jungle operating room.
Off I went down to the operating room. The child was stable but obviously had some airway obstruction and was having difficulty breathing. I gathered some resources and we brought the child to the operating room. Oh, and by the way, my anesthesia practice in the US is about 98% adults. “Really God, a difficult case and on a kid.” I prayed for this little one as we got started and felt a peace that the Great Physician would be with me along the way. “Just take the first step in faith and I will take care of you”, I could hear Him saying. While getting her to sleep and establishing an airway was a little tricky, it proceeded smoothly and uneventfully. They found the bleeding and fixed it. She woke up fine and was doing well when we left the next morning.
Life lesson learned again -- step out in faith and rely on God’s strength to make it through a tough situation.