The following is an excerpt from a newsletter article written by Rev Canon Jenny Green, Director of Potter’s Village Ministries. Potter’s Village is a child crisis centre in Kisoro, Uganda.
The start of a routine day, the children of Potter’s Village (PV) awake, they are dressed and given breakfast, all is well.
A lady arrives carrying a child, a frequent event in the course of a normal Potter’s Village day; but this lady was different, troubled, exhausted. The child she carried, called Bright, was struggling to breath, his cry was weak, he was clearly frail and his mum had a letter of referral from the local hospital to the nearest regional hospital in Mbarara, a torturous 250 kilometres away.
The letter told us that Bright had been under their care all his life but because of the lack of specialised equipment in Kisoro the local doctors had failed to diagnose or treat Bright. They had recommended referral many months previously, but the poor woman could not afford the cost of the bus fare.
Now nine months old, Bright was anything but bright, he was looking exhausted by the fight for life. He was clearly suffering, and he had been so from birth. Plans were made for Bright and his mother to travel by road to the hospital on Monday, escorted by the PV senior nurse.
They went home having been instructed to come back to PV on Sunday night ready for a very early start on Monday morning. However, on Friday night Bright developed pneumonia and early Saturday morning he was back in Potter’s Village considerably worse. His mother was very anxious and clearly thought Bright was dying.
Admitted to PV medical centre and on oxygen, Bright’s vital signs improved a little. He was seen by the local paediatrician who prescribed medication to help him through the immediate crisis. But Bright was still a very sick child and the journey to Mbarara over rough and dusty roads was out of the question; there was no way he would survive it.
What to do?
How amazing that a single phone call can change despair to hope. To hear a voice on the end of the phone making free, safe and fast transport a reality and not a dream brought joy to our hearts and rising hope to the heart of Bright’s mother. We will never forget the day MAF were able to confirm that a plane would come to Kisoro and take our critically sick baby to a place where there was a better chance his life could be saved.
On Tuesday the PV pickup was loaded with a generator and oxygen concentrator, and Bright and his mum along with two paediatric nurses embarked on a journey to attempt to save Bright’s life as he was transported slowly to the airstrip. How sweet to hear the sound of that little aeroplane approaching the airstrip. Bright remained on oxygen until the moment he was taken on board.
The pilot of the aeroplane was Dallas, and he prayed for Bright and for all those travelling with him before they boarded. Bright survived the 35 minute flight. It was very difficult without his oxygen but he was still breathing. The flight was met by a paediatrician and an ambulance equipped with oxygen and Bright was stabilised before he was moved on to a much better equipped hospital.
At the time of writing this, Bright is still admitted to the hospital. The doctors continue to investigate him and he may need major surgery, but they feel confident that he can be helped. Imagine the difference it will make in Bright’s village if he comes home cured. May the name of God be praised and may he richly bless all those who helped us to help Bright, especially MAF without whom Bright would be dead.
Please join us in praying for baby Bright, that he may continue to improve and indeed have a bright and healthy future.
It’s been called The 3 Minute Miracle. Every 3 minutes a MAF plane is taking off or landing providing this kind of help, hope and healing to the most remote communities of the world. To find out more, click here.