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Pure Joy

Nov 6

Written by:
11/6/2017 7:55 PM  RssIcon

Today we held our first clinic at the batey in a small church. There are about 300 people living here, in small houses with tin walls along muddy, bumpy paths. There is no plumbing and shoddy electricity. We saw very few people here over the age of 55, and the sad truth is that’s because they don’t survive that long.

There is an overwhelming amount of children here. Many are orphans, impacted by the high prevalence of AIDS, and now they live among the villagers, who look out for them. We saw one house the size of a small living room that had 16 people, mostly children, living there.

The conditions and 90 degree heat outside was causing some of our equipment to malfunction. Dr. Rema Johnson, an emergency medicine physician from AMITA Health St. Alexius, said this is what happens when you work in the field. Do the patients have a fever or are they feeling hot and sweating because it’s 90 degrees outside? “We have to rely less on machines and go back to where we started,” she said. “Put your hands on the patient and let your hands tell you what is wrong.”

Our OB physician, Dr. Ranae Yockey, and Karen Moore, director of OB at AMITA Health Elk Grove Village, saw a 32-year-old patient who was having abdominal pain and was weak and dehydrated. She came to the clinic with her husband and said she had been to the hospital in March and was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. It was the size of a cantaloupe. She went to the hospital but was turned away, because, as our interpreter told us, “No money, no surgery.”

Dr. Yockey consulted with the team and decided to drain the cyst via ultrasound guidance. At this point, there was no power, and the doctor and Karen were in a tiny bedroom in near darkness. They used flashlights to light the area and they watched the cyst slowly decrease in size as Dr. Yockey drained 100cc of fluid. After it was done, they gave her fluids, pain medicine and something to eat, and she perked right up and was smiling.

The team we have put together is amazing. When it started to pour rain, the triage team had a tarp up over their area within minutes. Our pharmacist, Jeiran Ghasemi, from AMITA Health GlenOaks, has been outstanding. This is her first trip and she has impressed us all with her energy, composure and clinical expertise.

Samantha Armando, chief ER scribe at AMITA Health St. Alexius, and Cliff Jean-Baptiste, our chaplain, spent some time educating children on proper teeth brushing, handwashing and protecting your eyes from the sun. After the educational sessions, they began to play games. They played duck duck goose, simon says and they did a conga line in the mud. They tried to learn how to play rock, paper scissors. We all stopped to watch from the windows and it was pure joy for us to see.

At the end of the day, we gave out some toys, and while a little chaotic, we saw some children run away with a small toy in their hand literally dancing with joy. It showed us that kids are kids and no matter their circumstances, their joy is infectious.  

30 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Pure Joy

Thank you for sharing this fantastic story. It truly illustrates the difference you are making in the lives of the people who live there. Your selfless contribution is applauded by all of us! Keep the stories coming, they make my day!

By Sam Armando on   11/7/2017 7:23 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

This story, so aptly cited as "pure joy", is just that! You are their angels . . . God bless!

By Marge Connor on   11/7/2017 8:06 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Dr. McKenna and all the staff what a first day you had! It has to be so heart wrenching to view the various illnesses but so rewarding to be able to give care to this poor community. You are all truly giving meaning to the "healing ministry of Christ". Take care and God bless you all in the days ahead.

By Janice Recio on   11/7/2017 8:10 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Thank you ALL for being there- for planting the seeds of faith, building relationships and providing love and healing to the community. Continue to be strong and courageous. Continue your gracious works and bestow your knowledge and compassion as displayed in the wonderful pictures and stories that have been shared. It's about responding instead of reacting, especially during difficult moments during your mission trip. Peace and prayers be with you. Embrace each moment. Shout out to our team members: Karen Moore RN and Dr. R. Yockey from Alexian Brothers Medical Center!

By Peggy Farrell RN on   11/7/2017 8:46 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

you are doing great work - thank you from all of us. I will continue to think about pure joy while we do our work.

By Katie Weibel on   11/7/2017 9:16 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Day one brought tears to my eyes. You all are truly engaging in God's work. I am so honored to be one of the chosen for the Panama trip in January. I am so moved and excited to help those that truly need to help or just a hug. May God continue to bless you through your trip. Be safe and God bless you all.

By Jennifer Acevedo-Franco on   11/7/2017 9:22 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Thank God for the humility and love he has placed in your hearts! Way to go team!

By TIARRA on   11/7/2017 9:33 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Associates in the Women & Infant Services Department @ ABMC are honored to have you representing our organization. We are standing by to see more pictures and stories of the community you are serving with your healing hands. Please make sure that Karen Moore is credited properly as being the Director of Women & Infant Services @ AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center! ;-) When we read a story like this about treating an ovarian cyst in near darkness with flashlights lighting the area, it makes us all grateful for the multitude of supplies and equipment we are lucky enough to have at our fingertips! Hugs to all, Laura

By Laura Bravos on   11/7/2017 9:58 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Thank you AMITA Mission Team! You are reaching out selflessly, making the impossible possible for those who are truly in need. Thank you for your time, energy, talent and desire to help your fellow man, woman and child. Our thoughts and prayers go with you on your journey! We are so proud to be your coworkers!

from the Amita Health St. Thomas Hospice team, Hinsdale

By St. Thomas Hospice on   11/7/2017 10:17 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Dear AMITA Team,

Great work! I'm proud of you. Julie, thanks for your reporting from the field. it b rings the mission home to us all.


best wishes,

Marcy Darin

By Marcy Darin on   11/7/2017 10:18 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Cheer and blessings from the Spiritual Care Team! We are praying for you every day!

By Tricia Treft on   11/7/2017 10:21 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

What a beautiful first day! Rema, Renae, Robin, Berenice, Alma et al - all of you are performing amazing work under challenging conditions. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and we are looking forward to hearing about day #2. Stay safe and stay hydrated...

By Bonny Chen on   11/7/2017 10:22 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Healing the sick who would not have been able to be treated, and putting smiles on children's faces sounds like an incredible first day! Keep up the great work! Love hearing the stories on the blog. Thank you for everything you all are doing to help these people.

By Carrie Dry on   11/7/2017 10:57 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

May the Lord Almighty be with you all on this very special mission.

By Editha Husmillo on   11/7/2017 11:40 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

God bless you all in your work there! You are inspirational and a testimony to God's love! Safe journey!

By Karen Sadler on   11/7/2017 12:04 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

It is amazing work you are doing under difficult circumstances. You are clearly bringing joy and much needed medical attention to the people you are serving. God Bless you all on your journey - this is truly an inspirational manifestation of the healing ministry of Jesus.

By Sherrie Russell on   11/7/2017 12:40 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

Great Work Guys! You All Inspire Me! "Thank You & God Bless"

By Russell Calvert on   11/7/2017 12:50 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

Great work, would love to do it next year.

By connie sizemore RN on   11/7/2017 2:54 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

Sounds like the team is carrying on in a mighty way - you all rock! Thanks for your dedication and perseverance. It is righteous work you are doing; may God bless your presence and your work.

By Beth Collier on   11/7/2017 4:14 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

I am so proud of you Aunt Karen (and the whole team)! You are a blessing to that patient and all that you come in contact with. Thinking of you <3 See you soon & cannot wait to hear about your experience!

Xoxo,

Your GodDaughter-Catherine

By Catherine Anton on   11/7/2017 5:16 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

What a blessing you are to those you are ministering to. I will keep all of you in my prayers. Keep up the good work

By Peg Lanctot on   11/7/2017 6:50 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

So grateful that you all made it there safety! Gee what an exciting and rewarding first day you had. Your team sounds so exceptional and compassionate. You are doing a wonderful job of keeping all of us back home up to date on your activities. May God grant all of you a place in heaven for giving generously of your time and expert knowledge. Love you and I will be awaiting your next post. Mom

By Renee Autor, Julie's Proud Mom on   11/7/2017 8:18 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

Love reading the recounts of some of the amazing work that is going on. Keep up the great work--it is much appreciated by many and a lot to be proud of. Stay safe and look forward to hearing more as the week goes on.
Mike

By Mike Handler on   11/7/2017 8:27 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

It's so great to get these updates and see the many ways you are blessing that community! Prayers for health, unity, creativity, discernment, and wisdom among the team, and lotsa love to our gals from ABMC Women and Infant Services, Karen Moore and Dr. Yockey!

By Laura Spencer on   11/7/2017 11:27 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

You guys make me proud to be a part of such a caring organization, keep up the good work. God bless you all!

By Carlia Boyd on   11/8/2017 8:22 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

This is inspiring work. Thank you all for sharing your gifts and talents so freely. You are truly living our mission---may we all serve with such commitment. Stay safe.

By Janet Kennedy on   11/8/2017 9:02 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Thank you for sharing the gift of yourselves and the good graces being received from those you are caring for. Celebrate the joy that is being exchanged.

By stan kedzior on   11/8/2017 9:48 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Thank you for sharing. May God keep you all safe and may He bless you a hundred fold for the joy and service you all give.

By Lorie on   11/8/2017 9:13 PM
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Re: Pure Joy

So proud of each of you for giving your hearts to these people in need! You are truly an inspiration to all of us! Stay safe!

By Becky Litterio on   11/9/2017 11:54 AM
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Re: Pure Joy

Many thanks to all of you for the outstanding work that you are doing! This exemplifies our mission, vision and values, and demonstrates who we are as a community. Keep up the great work!

By Mark Frey on   11/9/2017 5:09 PM

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