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Kudjip Nazarene Hospital
Box 456 Mt Hagen WHP
Papua New Guinea

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One small step for a girl, one giant leap for Bethany

        Today, we all rejoiced as Bethany walked out of the hospital. True, it was more of a slow, steady hobble assisted by crutches, but the fact that this eleven-year-old is alive and ambulating today is truly a miracle. Ten months ago, Bethany came to the hospital with severe septicemia: a bacterial infection that swept through her blood reaching every corner of her body. Bacteria implanted on a valve in her heart, infection permanently stole vision from her right eye, sores opened all over her body, and the microbes finally settled into the tibia bone of her lower leg. Months of fighting infection reduced Bethany to just skin and bones. No matter how hard we tried, we could not overcome the infection in her leg. Unlike the typical osteomyelitis cases we see in children here, a shell of new bone did not grow around the dead, infected bone in Bethany’s leg. Usually, we wait for new, strong, healthy bone to form before removing the dead bone so that the strength of the limb is preserved. But this did not happen in Bethany’s case.
           After months of treatment, there was no sign of any new bone growth. So, in desperation, we removed a 5-inch section of dead bone in its entirety, hoping to remove the persistent infection and allow new healing. Whenever we took her leg out of the splint to change the dressing, it would flop and bend like a wet noodle where the bone was missing. For months, Bethany remained in bed or in a wheelchair, unable to stand or walk. At one point, we considered amputation as we lost hope that the leg would ever heal. Then, miraculously, new bone slowly started to form. Once her wounds healed enough to allow the limb to be protected in a cast, we permitted her to start ambulating. But after months of debilitating disease, she didn’t even have the strength to stand. Last month, in His perfect timing, God provided a visiting physical therapist who assisted Bethany’s rehabilitation as she slowly advanced from standing, to moving with a walker, to ambulating with crutches.  Now, after 10 months in the hospital, she is finally going home! She still has a long way to go, but this small step out of the hospital is a huge leap forward for one very happy little girl.

Written by Sheryl Uyeda – to read more go to  https://sherylmd.blogspot.com

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