Sunday, July 5, 2015

Matt & Medivac

These past few days have been hectic to say the least. The morning of the 25th was like most mornings. 

7:50 AM-We had slept in the living room to give our niece the bed and I woke up to Matt bringing in our youngest neighbor from next door; she needed to take her malaria medication and we seem to be the only ones who can get her to take it. Afterwards, Matt headed to the kitchen to get her some breakfast and walked out onto the porch to start shining his shoes for work.

 8:05 AM- drifted back into my sleep trying to get as much as possible before really getting up for the day. It was going to be a busy day for both of us. I was headed out to the field to do a training and Matt had counseling and his positive living group meeting and we planned on taking our niece to enjoy a day in a Ugandan school as we prepared to leave the next morning on her farewell trip. A few minutes later, I was woken by my neighbor yelling for me to come. At the time I didn't know what she wanted and contemplated ignoring the calls as I tried to get those last minutes of rest. The persistence in her calls brought me out of my sleep as I called to ask what she needed. I walked onto the porch to look for her and noticed the baby on the step eating her breakfast. When I turned the corner to see what she needed, I saw Matt. 

8:15 AM -I found him unconscious on the ground, his eyes were red, very red as if he were bleeding from them. It took a few second to process what had happened; around him was fluid as if he had been throwing up and his head was drenched with sweat or the vomit that surrounded him and his mouth was surrounded with little bubbles of foam; he had had a seizure. I called for our neighbor to get help, but she stood frozen; she was in shock and later I learned she thought he was dead. Our niece came out, she had been woken by the yells and went for help. As I waited I tried my best to help him regain consciousness. Once some of the staff reached us I let them take over as I attempted to call Peace Corps; as luck would have it, I didn't have the correct emergency number for medical and called my Champion, who is a life savor to contact them and waited for their call. 

Before I knew it, we had the entire health center staff at our home. They started to treat his initial injuries as he slowly regained consciousness. It took a while but after a 15 minutes he knew where he was and who he was. We were instructed to head to the nearest hospital that could potentially treat him, 2 hours away. As we mobilized a vehicle for transport , as there are no ambulances and few personal vehicles, we noticed he had pain in his shoulders. The left one you could plainly see it had been dislocated and the right one was swollen twice the normal size. They braced his arms as best as they could and gave him a shot to ease the pain.

10:00 AM After waiting an hour to get a vehicle we headed out but changed course to head directly to the International Hospital in Kampala. After what seemed like the longest ride, especially for Matt who was what I can only believe to be excruciating pain, we had arrived, it was now 3 PM.

In short, they found he had dislocated both shoulders, the right had a fracture and luckily his MRI came back normal. He had had a seizure, either from the porch, or after falling off the porch. No one knows for sure as no one was around expect for our 2 year-old neighbor, and she can't say much.

MEDIVAC- Before we had left the house, the medical officer told me to pack as if we would have to travel internationally and grab our passports. Luckily, I took this advice because withing 24 hours, Matt was on his was to South Africa for surgery as I stayed behind to send off our niece. I arrived in South Africa Friday morning, right after he woke up from surgery. The damage was worse than expected once they started, but the surgeon had managed to repair everything. 

We were officially on medical evacuation, as the medical services in Uganda could not support his needs. Before I left, the staff explained the process and mentioned about access to our home and packing things. My first thoughts and words, I am coming back. It was too early to even think or process the past 24 hours. It had went from a normal morning, to now a husband at the other end of the continent and the idea that our life here would be coming to an end. 

As of now, we are in South Africa and Matt is recovering well. It's a strange new world after a year in the village, 8 lane highways, wide streets with trees lining them, winter ...which I did not pack for and a completely new culture and language. 

We have 45 days from the first day of medivac to determine the fate of returning back to Uganda. As of now, everything rests on an appointment we have on Tuesday. 

Oh, and Happy 4th of July! 
We enjoyed by eating a hot dog and watching some American movies...