I was all set to tell you about our fun family day in Lusaka.
However, some things have come up that need more attention.
Friday Naomi was admitted to the clinic because she had a bad case of malaria and was not responding to the medicine so she needed to be switched to IV quinine. This has now been switched again to quinine tablets. Quinine can have serious side effects and so she needs prayer for full recovery and protection from the medicine. She's hanging in there, but is still quite sick.
Then Friday night at around 2 AM (9 AM in Zambia) I got a call from Tom that told me that five children had serious vomiting and diarrhea.He was on his way with all of them to the clinic to check if they too had malaria or just a stomach virus.
The word this morning was that they've all been admitted to the clinic. Only one of them had malaria, but all were kept at the clinic. This is mainly to protect the other children at the orphanage. If this is indeed a stomach virus, it will be good to keep those germs away from the rest of the kids.
Peter is the one with malaria. His fever was quite high this morning (evening in Zambia) and was being treated with malaria medicines and Tylenol. I encouraged them to wipe him down with cool cloths.
I wish more than ever that a transporter exists. It's hard to be here on this side of the Atlantic while so many of my babies are sick.
Tom and Sarah are doing a great job along with the nannies to care for all the kids. This is Tom's least favorite part of running the orphanage. Normally I do the medical side of things (not that I like it--but I can do it) and so I'm incredibly proud of how well Tom is handling it all. Sarah has been wonderful (and Brent too, I'm sure) in keeping an eye on all the kids and what needs to be done while caring for Samuel as well.
In order to combat this virus, Tom and the staff have overhauled the orphanage--cleaning and purifying the water tanks, scrubbing down the nursery, kitchen and pantry, and setting up disinfection centers. We're not sure that there is a specific point of contamination--most likely it's simply a wicked virus--but we're taking no chances.
Unfortunately, the clinic is not a very good set up for the kids. They are all in a dingy, dirty back room which has a hole in the ceiling complete with bats (and accompanying guano) and mosquitoes. Tom brought in bedding for all the beds, plastic to tack onto the ceiling, and completely cleaned it up.
He's also hired on a couple part time nannies so that two nannies can be with the children at the clinic all the time. He has also contracted a restaurant to deliver meals to the nannies 3 times a day. He meanwhile drives down with food for the kids three times a day.
It is quite a challenging situation. I wish I could be there to help. Please lend your prayers to mine that all the kids will recover fully and that no one else will be stricken with his virus or malaria. Pray for strength for all the caregivers. Pray also for protection for the children from side effects from the medicines and protection from other germs and bacteria present at the clinic.