Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dr. Chew

Julio with Dr. Chew
It was early 2009 when we first met Dr. Allan Chew.  It was not a good day.  But in hindsight, it was definitely a divine appointment!

We were new to Guatemala.  Still barely getting around… no Spanish yet, no real knowledge of our surroundings, etc.  I was in the city when I got the call from Kerrie.  “Brooke’s wrist is broken, I don’t know what to do.”  Certain she was overreacting, I asked if she was sure it was broken, or had she just banged it…  to which she replied “Babe – the bone is sticking out, please hurry!”

My mind was racing even faster than the car was for the hour it took me to get home.  My then 10 year old baby girl was crying at home with bone sticking out of her arm, and I didn’t even know where to take her!  I was calling the few people I had gotten to know by that point, trying to figure out what to do… 

A couple hours later we found ourselves in a hospital in Guatemala City.  Hospitals in Guatemala are nothing like hospitals in Saint Johns County, Florida.  One word described it – CHAOS.  People everywhere, long lines, people yelling, babies screaming, etc.  In those moments something else kicks in… you know what I mean… Courtesy, etiquette, following of the rules – all get thrown out the window.  (Respectfully, of course.  Haha...) 

Way down a hall on the other side of the hospital, I saw a man in a white coat coming out of an exam room.  I ran down the hall and walked into the X-ray room he had gone into.  I tried my best to explain what had happened.  I’m sure my desperation spoke more clearly than my Spanish.  He looked around (as if he was about to do something sneaky) and said, “bring her with me.”

He examined her arm and immediately took her into surgery.

(I shouldn’t even mention the THREE earthquakes that hit DURING the surgery.  Yep, an already near-panicked mom and dad sat in the waiting room of an insanely chaotic Guatemalan hospital trusting a completely unknown man who was breaking all of the procedural rules while inserting pins into our 10 year old unconscious daughter while the building rocked back and forth THREE DIFFERENT TIMES due to earthquakes.)

Needless to say we were praying.

It all worked out.  Dr. Chew has since opened his own practice at a very nice medical center in the city.  He is an orthopedic trauma surgeon with more degrees and awards on his office wall than I can count.  And he has become a good friend.  He texts me when he travels to the US, letting me know what state he’s in and where he’s staying.  I think being in the US just makes him think of his gringo buddy.

Since Brooke’s broken wrist, he has treated Jake’s torn ACL, my torn meniscus, Axel’s broken arm, several broken arms of our friends the Schmidt’s kids, and even done an Achilles surgery on one of the 12x12 employees.

Most recently, he operated on Julio's broken big toe.  Another 2 pins.  Only this time I wasn't nearly as nervous!  Dr. Chew has been another example of God's faithful promise to take care of us as we follow Him.  And he's also become a good friend in the process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great,, I'm just reading you gays blog ,let me know if u need any help with translations , I speak English and spanish. In Facebook liliana Perez Reyes.