Kennedy works on our bikes, and he especially helped our daughter Annie get her unicycle put together. But I usually see him at work, where his energy and smile are an encouragement as he runs around the hospital trying to sort out the different things he manages.
About six months ago I had the privilege of delivering Kennedy’s baby boy. I remember the case well. His wife was past her due date, and so we were inducing labor. However, for some strange reason every time we checked their baby’s heart rate, the tones were not normal. She was not even feeling her contractions, but with every unfelt contraction we saw on the monitor, the baby’s heart rate would go down, and in between contractions the heart rate would be too high. These are signs of stress to the baby.
I do not like to do a cesarean section on a woman who is not in labor, but in this case we decided to go ahead. The surgery went well, and their baby was fine. But the next morning I heard from the pediatric team that the baby had an imperforate anus, a birth defect that affects about one of every 5,000 newborns. That means that there was no way for the baby to have a bowel movement. Obviously, this was a problem.
The next day they sent their new son into the operating room to get an ostomy – which is where the surgeon attaches the end of the intestines to the abdominal wall so that the bowel movement can pass from the body through the abdominal wall. Then they did surgery to correct the closed anus. The last step involved reattaching the intestines together so that their son could start passing stools normally.
It was a long road, but everything ended well. Kennedy really wanted a picture of us all together, and I was glad to snap one too. He is obviously happy that his son is doing well, and although I had just the smallest role in it, I am happy too.
Christian Health Service Corps is a ministry of Christian doctors, health professionals and health educators serving the poor in places that have little or no access to healthcare. Each year, we bring compassionate, life-saving health services to hundreds of thousands of families around the world. Our doctors and health professionals are often the only access to care for young families in poor communities.
The Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is dedicated to transforming the health of children and families in their communities. CHSC health professionals save many lives while imparting knowledge that builds community capacity for sustainable change. With respect for human dignity, we work to build community capacity to:
- Promote a worldview that nurtures and supports spiritual, and physical wholeness in families
- Ensure child survival and normal growth of children
- Improve health infrastructure and access to functional healthcare services
Learn more about Christian Health Service Corps and how you can support their work here.
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