06 October 2006

lots of news about Garty

It's been a crazy day, but I'm finally able to post our updates. The following emails are what we received between 6:30pm Thursday and today around 11am followed by the interpretation of the information we received from an excellent pediatrician we know. Some of you already received this info by email, but we wanted to post it because we know we probably missed people.

EMAIL #1 -

Garty Kah had to be admitted to the hospital today for a blood transfusion. He was very anemic, so the doctor decided this was best. I am hoping he only stays one night. I'd rather have the kids here with me as long as they aren't on the IV anymore. He looked good today, though sick. His favorite nanny is staying with him.

EMAIL #2 -

Garty was up to 13 or 14 pounds and now he has lost about a pound and a half. When he came to us he was anemic (from not being on good formula: his mother died in childbirth and he had been drinking powdered milk for the 2 months before he came). He was on an iron supplement, but malaria ruins red blood cells, so that’s why he needed the transfusion. The doctor did not think he would have the ability to recover from the malaria and pneumonia unless he was given the transfusion. He has been the picture of health until now. But though he is sick, he still looks okay. His weight is still within a healthy range for an African baby his age.

Godgift Garjay who is 2 1/2 went through the very same illnesses. He had malaria and pneumonia and also needed a blood transfusion. He is doing great now. Before allowing Garty to go through with the transfusion I called an American missionary doctor to ask his opinion. He thought the transfusion was a good idea and did not seem worried about the procedure. If needed, I would be okay with getting a blood transfusion in this country.

I’m so sorry Garty is sick, but I am doing my best to get him the care he needs. I love these babies so much. I wish they never got sick. (Don’t we all?)

EMAIL #3 -

I saw Garty today in the hospital. He had the blood transfusion last night, and it was successful. Garty is weak, but not crying too much. He is very comforted by the nanny and is able to sleep a lot. I wanted to assure everyone that Garty's transfusion was safe, so I met with the hospital director. He is a Spanish man. I mentioned that we want to make sure our babies get the best care possible. He told me there is not a blood bank, but people are contacted to donate as the need arises (usually family members). All the blood is carefully screened for HIV, etc. He assured me that not only would it be bad for the patients if they weren't careful with the blood, but it would be bad for those running the hospital. So I felt confident that the blood was safe (I would get a transfusion from that hospital if needed). Hopefully the blood will be just the boost Garty needs to bring him back to health.


We conference called this morning with a local pediatrician who also does medical work with orphans in Mongolia. She said that malaria is actually a parasite that tries to live in your red blood cells, but when it moves in, it breaks up the cells. Because Garty was already anemic, the malaria was destroying any chance of his body fighting off the malaria and pneumonia. She said that it sounds like all the right steps are being taken with the limited resources available in Liberia. She said that we should start to see improvement in a day or two. However, there are a few types of pneumonia that break down red blood cells like malaria does. If he has one of those, the blood transfusion will simply add fuel to the fire. We'll have to see the direction things go in the next day or two. She said that when his fever goes down, he's eating normally, he's alert, and he's smiling some, we'll know he's turning the corner.

Thanks so much to all of you who are praying and who have others praying. We appreciate the encouragement we've received from you all. Please don't be offended if we haven't emailed you personally. We're just a bit distracted. On top of all of this, I have a nasty case of poison oak that has made my arms very painful, swollen, and barely able to bend. Because I'm a new patient at our doctor's office, they wouldn't give me an appointment until Tuesday, so I'm taking Benadryl and running lots of cold water over my arms when they start to feel like they're on fire.

Between our ER visit over the weekend, my arms, and our very sick baby, I feel like God has done what he did in the book of Job and said, "Go ahead and do what you want to her." However, this time He chose the wrong person. I'm not strong enough to handle it.

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