Arrived in Vietnam yesterday. The first time I came for vacation, I had a tour guide and we started talking about what I was doing in cambodia and he said Vietnam needed help too. After attending the war museum I saw the need. Ho Chi Minh city is beautiful and it didn't look like it had a need, but seeing the effects of Agent Orange changed that for me. Last year I was focussing on vietnam but put that in the back of my mind.
But this year now that the work in Cambodia is continuing without me and doesn't need me physically there, I decided to start pursuing what other things God has in store. There is something really cool about how God sends you the people he wants to play an important part in your life. In Cambodia it was Michael and here I believe it will be our tour guide Mr Loc. He's a man with a passion and heart to help people and in many ways he reminds me of me when I was younger. He is so innocent and just has a heart to help. YEsterday when he came to meet my sister and me and to talk about future medical camps he brought along the newspaper with two articles. One of a family with brain tumors who has no money and needs an operation and another of a lady with a huge tumor on her face who has been told it is inoperable and she will die.
So we talked about the medical camps and those of you interested we will be doing them either oct or november. if you are interested, let me know which month is better for you and lets do it! I will need passport numbers as you will have to be registered with the government. There will be 2-3 volunteer vietnamese doctors and anyone, even those without medical experience are welcome! I haven't seen the sights but I know Mr. Loc and Mr. Quan are trustworthy and it should be great! Just be willing to go with the flow a kinks will need to get worked out as it will be the first trip there and growing pains will have to be tolerated! We'll have some time for sightseeing so it should be enjoyable and a very rewarding experience!
So we went to the hospital. Just walked in and went all over the place looking for the family with the schwannomas. At one point some staff started looking like they were telling us we couldn't go this way, but they were telling us to go to the girl ward to find the mother and daughter! It's great how innocence and a great heart just opens doors. We found out the mother and girl had actually been discharged because all the funds they had had been put into operating on the boy. He looks about 15, 1/2 his face is paralyzed and he is out of it. As we went towards his room we passed patients on both sides lying on gurnees because there is no place for them in the overcrowded rooms. There heads are bandaged. The whole scene made me want to cry. Loc wants us to help pay the 1000 dollar bill for all three to get operated on. No doctor would talk to us so we are going back on monday to see if this is possible and what it would entail and to get a real history. The sad thing is as we were asking the uncle questions other patient's family members started gathering around asking us for help. There is such a need in Vietnam. Let's see what happens on Monday. If nothing else, it's helping me get a real heart for vietnam and when you have a heart, then you move and can be God's hands and feet to make difference and be used the way God intended you to be.
After that we drove to see a lady with a tumor. She has been a dishwasher. Seven years ago she noticed a bump on her face and didn't have money to have it removed. The tumor continued to grow and by the time she went back the doctors said there was nothing they can do for her. I have honestly never seen anything this horrible in terms of a tumor. Her right eye can't even be seen because the tumor from her cheek covers it. You can see the tumor pouching out of her right nostril and her whole face is shifted. Her upper jaw/teeth stick out because of the tumor and her teeth have fallen out because of it. It's horrible, yet she is in good spirits. If anyone knows an ENT who would be willing to look at the pictures and path and mri reports once Mr. Loc gets the for me, I will forward them the info. We would love to see if there is anyone who can help save this lady's life.
We got home after 7 and had been out since 10 :) but the day wasn't over. We went to dominos for pizza. Dominos in Japan is better than dominos in seattle, but dominos here is probably not worth eating :) We headed back and got horribly lost but God sent an angel in the form of a Filipino businessman/engineer who has been here for 2 years and has a month left before he returns. He went out of his way and walked us to our hotel! We were late for the next patient encounter but then I spent 1 1/2 hours seeing and explaining things to our taxi driver's aunt who had just come from the provence (countryside) to be seen. At 10:30 I made it to the room :)
Save Each One
Updates about Save Each One and the Women's Center in Cambodia