|Paula (white shirt) with her sisters and cousin|
until the phone rang.
it was my friend donald. donald and ruth are our closest friends out here in the village. we love them, trust them, and love their kids like our own. a couple years ago we had the honor of being asked to be their kids' "padrinos" (godparents).
the call was to ask for a ride to the hospital. one of their 4yr old twins, paula, was having severe stomach pain. i didn't have a car available, kerrie had gone somewhere with my daughter, and paul was gone with their car. so i offered to call dr. carlos and have him come check her out.
i fell back asleep.
the phone rang again, about an hour later. it was dr. carlos.
"brock, there is nothing i can do. she needs to get to a hospital or she's going to die."
i literally thought i was in the middle of a nightmare. "what? i dont understand. didn't she just have a stomach ache?"
turns out she had such a bad case of amoebas, her intestines had swollen to the point that they were on the verge of exploding. dr. carlos had seen it before. her intestines had formed a knot in her stomach so large that he didn't think she'd live another day.
as i spoke with the doctor, kerrie pulled into the driveway. within minutes (although it seemed like hours), paul and i were at the hospital. we prayed. donald cried. paula sat calmly the entire way without saying a word.
i coached up donald as best i could on how to deal with the administrators at the hospital. the place is chaos. packed with people, its not uncommon for people to die in the waiting area.
donald and i exchanged text messages throughout the night. by morning, we received news that she had been given a treatment that forces the amoebas to pass in your bowel movement. if its too late, the amoebas won't pass. if its not too late, they'll pass.
they started to pass - by 8am she had passed 4 of them. ruth described them as "enormous". i cant even imagine...
bacteria. dirty water. unsanitary living situations. its an enemy that can seem too big to even attempt to fight against. but we will keep fighting. little by little, one person at a time.
we praise God for sparing paula. he answered prayers and protected her. thank you Jesus.
update 3/11: the entire family is on medication to force out the amoebas. paula has passed 8 of them - which are now the size of giant worms between 8 inches and 1 foot long. her twin sister has passed 15 of them. the other girls have passed a few as well, and donald (their dad) is also passing them. ruth told us that the girls scream "snakes!" when they are going to the bathroom.
this entirely family is extremely sick. people here deal with these things and don't do anything - they just push through. i am speechless. how many more in the village are sick like this? most? all?