Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Lord Cares . . .

For Angel and me, the call to be in a remote mission setting has been a definitive call. It is not uncommon that we get questions about our saneness. The questions have increased proportionately with the increase in our number of kids. Some of the recent ones have been like – ‘4 kids and living in a place where the nearest pediatrician is 120 kilometers away’, ‘how do you manage without an outing to a mall’, ‘3 days to go home and meet your parents, are you nuts?’  

Of course, it’s not uncommon that we look at adverse possibilities.

Exactly a month back, we faced such a situation. Our younger daughter, Hesed, aged 2 years old and the most active of our four children took a jump from the upper deck of our double-deck cot and landed on her right forearm. The hand took quite an impact. She was not allowing us to touch her right elbow.

And we were at Barwadih. The nearest help was about 30 kilometers away and we knew very well that the orthopedician did not deal with such injuries. We had a plan to visit Ranchi the next day. Thankfully, there was no swelling of the elbow although there appeared to be some pain.

Overnight, Hesed did fine. However, the next day as we travelled to Ranchi, we realized that there was a bit of a swelling of the right elbow. It was difficult to find out if there was much of a problem as Hesed was a left hander.

As we travelled, the first thought that came to me was to call up our friend orthopedician, Dr. Kenny David at CMC, Vellore. To our amazement, he was at a place near to Ranchi and was on his way to Ranchi airport to catch a flight.

It was amazing - - - looking from a point of chance. The number of times, we visit Ranchi as a family is only once in 3-4 months. The number of times that Dr. Kenny David will come down to Ranchi is maybe once a year. The chance of one of our children getting an elbow injury is maybe once in a generation. And to have all of them together in such a way that Hesed gets consultation from the pediatric orthopedician of a premier healthcare institute of the country when we are stationed at a remote corner of the country.

Don’t you think this is amazing? We are definite that the Lord was in control and took care of Hesed’s elbow.

Dr. Kenny saw Hesed at Ranchi. We got her X-Ray and then put her on a slab. The X-rays got reviewed by the pediatric orthopedician at Vellore. 

Today, it is one month since the incident.

Hesed is doing well. We thank God . . .

We learnt that how much precious we are for the Lord.


  1. It is important for us to hand over our lives (and those of our families) fully into God's hands and be literally willing to die for him. I think this is the meaning of being a 'living sacrifice'. It is because of this attitude in missionaries who have gone on before us that we have so much of Christian work all over the world - even in the most remote corners. They lost their spouses (Elisabeth Elliott) and children (William Carey) and were still able to accept it as God's portion for them. We should have an attitude like Daniel, "we know that you are able to save us but even if you do not, we will continue to serve you". Incidents like the one you have described remind us that God is in control of everything and we should simply trust and obey Him - as the song goes, "there is no other way to be happy in Jesus".

  2. hats off to you Jeevan and to Angel for the wonderful support you are giving Jeevan... and praise God for the definite calling he has shown to both of you as a family.. May God bless the children and keep them safe as they grow up in His care-- we are always praying for you

  3. I am so glad Hesed is doing well. I hope her arm is back to perfect very soon.

    I wanted to comment on a previous topic, and I would have sent by email, except I could not find your email address. I hope you don't mind this post, in this place.

    Dear Dr. Kuruvilla"

    I found your blog today, and have been reading with great interest the varied patient cases you discussed. In one of the posts, you wondered about possible ways to help pregnant women and their families understand the risk of PROM, and the need for prompt delivery to avoid infection and death. I do not know if this is still a question you are asking, or if a satisfactory solution has already been reached. In case suggestions are still needed, I will make one, if you kindly permit.

    In reading your blog, I saw the pictures of the fish being harvested, and an idea came to me. Perhaps you could describe the baby in utero as being like a fish in water. It protects the baby, allows it to grow, and growing in amniotic fluid is the natural state of a fetus. However, when the "waters" break, the baby is not in its protective environment. You might discuss how a newly caught fish is whole and good for the first day. But in the heat of the climate, the fish will soon start to "go bad". Over the course of several days, the fish rots more and more, and is "not good" for use. In explaining, talk of rotting that starts in the womb, even while the baby is alive. The baby will be infected, and start rotting, and the inside of the mother's womb will also begin to rot. The rot progresses rapidly, and will lead to death of the infant, and possible death of the mother, or may so severely damage her womb that she might not be able to carry a baby in the future (that would be an important point if they desire future children). If the mother is seen and treated early, the treatment is inexpensive, and the baby and mother have an excellent chance for a healthy birth. If the "rot" has been allowed to continue, treatment will be very expensive, her recovery will be long, and the baby may not grow normally, if it lives. You might use a fish to illustrate this analogy, showing pictures of a healthy fish, then snaps taken over the following several days showing the fish rotting.
    Where I grew up in a rural area of my state (almost 60 years ago), the pregnant women dreaded their membranes rupturing befor labor because they believed that this would be a "dry" birth, and therefor longer and more painful. This might also be a point to convince women to come in promptly after membranes rupture.

    If you have someone who can draw with skill, you might do drawing illustrations for those who don't read. Perhaps a drawing of a pregnant woman squatting to urinate, and grimacing with pain, and use a variation of the dead fish analogy. With an infection, the inside of the bladder may "rot", and the rot can spread to the baby and to the mother's womb.

    For early recognition of pre-eclampsia, a drawing of a woman with swollen feet, face, and hands; a drawing indicating severe headache; a drawing indicating dizziness and visual changes.

    (post in two parts due to length)

  4. (second half of post)

    You spoke of patients going first to a wizard for treatment, before going to your hospital. I am sure that it is not likely that you will ever be able to educate this person in favor of medical treatment instead of folk medicine. I wonder if it would be possible to identify a woman in the village who is held in respect by the villagers. Perhaps it would be possible to train her about things that if noted, indicates the need for being promptly taking to the hospital. Perhaps a small stipend could be paid, if she posts the posters that illustrate those conditions, in an area of the village where it will be seen a lot. And at 6 month intervals, if women with those symptoms have come to the hospital because she recommended it, she might be given a gift, or be honored with a dinner, or some kind of status reward. And if this helps, then perhaps a woman in the next village could be trained, with the help of the first woman, so that she enjoys esteem for her role, and because her success might influence the next women to be trained.

    I realize that I do not know the culture of your practice community, and I know that money is habitually in short supply to provide care for patients, but these suggestions might avoid enough septic patients that it saves the hospital money that otherwise would be spent on the complications.

  5. Thanks for sharing Jeevan.
    "...as your days, so shall your strength be."