A clinic in one of our remote areas, and one that we frequently partner with, contacted us for advice.
They went on to refer a woman to us with newly diagnosed preeclampsia. Believing her to be stable, they started on an arduous journey; the river was severely swollen making the passage down the river to the road where they could get a car incredibly difficult. Torrential rains and poor roads created an even worse situation moving forward. It was anticipated that she would arrive at the clinic around 2 am. We were ready for her and prepared for all outcomes. They didn’t arrive by 2 am, and it had been some time since we had heard from them, so we were becoming a little anxious. Then at 2;30 am my husband’s phone rang and the escort with the patient started shrieking down the phone. “You need to come quickly, she is unconscious and having seizures, there is blood coming out of her mouth. Bring medicine and your midwife and come now.” We enquired as to where they were, it was a town about 1 ½ hours away from us, and this town has a government hospital with a doctor with a very good reputation, and known to understand and be kind to those coming from the rural areas. We told them, “Go to the hospital in that town. Go now. The doctor is good and will understand your situation.” They were reluctant to do so. They wanted to continue on to us and by this stage the seizures had stopped and she was conscious again. You see fear comes into this equation, there is a long history from times of conflict of people coming from the rural ethnic areas to the government health facilities and receiving highly prejudicial and unkind care. They are still frequently yelled at and treated badly, especially if they arrive in poor condition or in night time hours.
It took considerable convincing, but they had the driver take them to this hospital where they were admitted. Not long after arriving she started having seizures again. The nurses administered emergency medications, and the doctor was called in to do an emergency cesarean section for her. Thankfully a healthy son was delivered, despite all the assaults his little body had endured on the way to the hospital. Mama took a few days to stabilize and improve, but by the time she was discharged from the hospital she was like an entirely new woman. Our team was able to send a staff member later the morning she was admitted and operated on and he was able to provide financial and social assistance to support this couple. Friends in that same town were called and were happy to come and help with meals, washing of clothes and general support.
This couple had all their follow up with us at the T-RAD clinic. It was such a joy to be part of this woman’s journey and to partner with the other clinics and the Ministry of Health hospital and to see life despite terrible complications and adversity.