Meet my friends From PACU
I am truly loving my position here in the PACU more and more each day I work. I am so blessed to be able to pour out my love on each individual I care for. I am able to see more clearly the gift of compassion the Lord has given me, as each patient truly consumes my heart and I just love them to the best of my ability. I am reminded of Colossians 3:17 and try to keep it at the forefront of my brain whenever I am working. It says " whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
                                        Image result for colossians 3:17
I try to align my actions, words, and even touch to that of Christ, and pray that every patient I have see Him who has gifted me to care for them.

I want to introduce you to a few of my friends that have left a special mark on my heart. I will go away from here, Cameroon, and remember these precious children of God FOREVER.


MAEVA


This young lady is Maeva. She is 6 years old and came to use for surgery of a burn she received as an infant. During our time in recovery her grandmother (the woman holding her) told me that she was burned at the age of one month. Her mother abandoned her "because she was ugly". I listed to this story in the PACU with tears in my eyes. This grandmother's love for her little girl oozed out of her in such a way that was so special. Maeva was uncomfortable in the beginning, and required a little pain medicine. Once it was administered she began to call me her aunt.



I have visited miss Maeva multiple times and each time she yells "ta ta Lindsay" and jumps in my arms. Her smile and laugh are so contagious, I can't help but just want to be near her. 
She enjoyed some play time on the dock for a barbecue that we had, but after dancing she very much wanted to go in. I was given permission to escort her back to her ward, and then she didn't want me to leave. She chased me down the hallway "ta ta Lindsay" crying. Talk about heart breaker. I scooped her up and carried her back to her bed and hugged her tight, promising to see her soon. 
She was released two days later while our family was at a local orphanage. I wasn't there to say "goodbye".  I was devastated. I mean I literally had to go lay in my bed for a good cry. 
Thankfully my friend on the Comms team messaged me two days later "she is on the dock. GO GO GO" and I quite literally ran down the gangway to her. 

                                     

Now she was angry with me at first, for not being there when she left, but quickly changed her tune and kept saying " I want to go up with you". She meant she wanted to go back on the ship as she is now at the HOPE center for a couple more weeks. I have to prepare myself for the day she goes to her actual home, and thank God for the opportunity to meet such a special young lady and her sweet grandmother.




AXEL

Below is my friend Axel. Axel has a hemangioma. A hemangioma is most commonly made up of small capillaries, normal in size but there are quite numerous. They can be "superficial" or close to the surface and typically will be brighter red in color, or they can cover an entire extremity and be quite "spongy" to the touch and are called "diffuse". Axel has more of what would be referred to as a "cavernous" hemangioma, where larger blood vessels are dilated and the space between the vessels is filled with blood. These vessels caused necrotic areas on his lip and a rather large deformity in his cheek and neck area. 

                                     
Actual surgery to treat his condition was not an option, as he would bleed and bleed. So much so the doctors eventually opted to put in a Tracheostomy, in fear of a medical emergency and no one wanted to do this bedside.

Dr. Parker would go on to later say, that Axel has been added to his list of miracles as no "official surgery" has been done, yet his hemangioma has gotten smaller. Now Axel has had 8 surgeries to date, to repair his lip and other diseased areas because of his condition.
Now let me tell you about Axel as a person! He has a personality the literally lights up the room. He is always smiling. I mean ALWAYS, he will wake up from surgery and be in pain and still smile and give a thumbs up sign. He has made such a HUGE impression on my heart! Once again I thought I came here to give, and I end up on the receiving end of the blessings. He has made this kind of impression on so many people. He also really enjoys Jocelyn's company when she visits the wards every Monday. I can't wait to update you with pictures of him before he goes home!





YVAN

I am also pleased to introduce you to another friend of mine whom every time I think of him I can't help but giggle. This is Yavan, who was an eight year orthopedic patient. I will always remember him awaking from his surgery and was an angry little guy. He kept telling his father " you are not my friend any more" and "you didn't tell me they were going to do this to me" "look they made my legs white".
I thought to myself, there it is he was already so afraid and wakes up to these two heavy white casts, and had received a block to both legs so his legs also felt "funny" as he could barely move them and he thought we made his legs white. We spent time explaining the casts and showing him his toes, and trying not to let him see our giggle, as even the dad found this to be a difficult task. By the end of his hour with me we were friends, and as I left him, he had to give me one last High five and a "Merci".





So I am reminded as I look into each patent's eyes, why I am a nurse. Nursing here is unlike anything I have ever done as a professional nurse. It is what I would call "NURSING". It is a holding of a hand, encouraging words, prayers with the patient and family member, prayers with your coworkers, celebration of miracles big or small and so much more. Of course there is still charting, and medication to administer, but the majority of our time is spent truly caring for our patients. I am so incredibly honored to be here, serving with this organization that is changing one life at a time, mine included.

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