Ej Inaypada Nan Jimma : I'm worried for Jimma

December 1, 2013

  I'm up at 5am again today because I'm worried about Jimma.  If you'the praying kind, please pray for him because he's very, very sick.  Jimma is the kid's grandpa, Fire's biological grandfather.  D and I call him Uncle and in the last year or so that we've known him and his wife (Bubu, Auntie) we've all become very close. 
  Theres a lot more to this than i'll share in this post but here's the heart of it: Jimma is in renal failure with a gross fluid overload that his body can't clear because of the renal failure.  If Jimma doesnt get  on dialysys within a week, he will die.  Just typing that, even after having two days to process it, still makes me cry.
  So why can't they just put him on dialysis here? The hospital on Kwaj doesn't have a dialysis machine and neither does the one on Ebeye.  The Ebeye hospital is so low on medical supplies that they're only really treating the sickest and of those, only the youngest with the best prognosis are being helped.  Kwaj's hospital isn't set up to treat people that need the kind of care that Jimma needs- Kwaj is a combination of an emergency room and a regular doctors office.  Either way, theres still no dialysis machine.  There used to be one at the hospital on Majuro but its been broken for years. 
  That leaves four options for Jimma: go home to Jesus, without seeking further treatment; go to Majuro for traditional Marshallese medicine (and to be with his family if he did pass away); get a medical referral from the RMI government for treatment in the Phillipines; or go to America for for medical care.
  The third option, going to the Phillipines on an RMI medical referral is out.  Jimma is too old (he's 55) and diabetic so they won't even consider him for it.  Initially, Auntie wanted uncle to go to Majuro, so that they could try trditional medicine and petition the government for a trip to the Phillipines but Uncle has decided that he wants to try and fight, so that leaves America. 
  And of course, because that's how things go when you need them to easily, we can't just put Auntie and Uncle on a plane to Honolulu. If they went to Honolulu, they could go right into a large hospital and Jimma would be admitted immediatly, but once he moved from needing acute care to the several months of fegular dialysis that he will need, to give his kidneys a chance to recover, they will need a place to live, food, and some way to get to the dialysis center.  D and I can buy them plane tickets but we just can't provide everything else that they would need there.
  There is one other option for treatment in America, an idea that came to me while I was praying about all this yesterday,and that's to have Uncle and Auntie go to my mother's house in Iowa.  She has the space, could reach out to her community for support, and is happy to help.  She's looking into area hospitals that would accept a critcally ill patient with no insurance right now.  When I presented the idea to Auntie and Uncle, they accepted almost immediatley.  It felt like a ray of sunshine was bursting through a terrible storm when I thought we'd finally found a way for Uncle to get the care he needs.  Of course, its not that easy.  Uncle's passport is expired and Auntie's is at their house on Majuro and is also expired (RMI citizens don't need passports for inter-island travel).  A friend put me in touch with the RMI liason here on Kwaj and he said he would be able to expedite the expired passports.  Auntie and I are meeting with him this morning about them, but even that might not be enough.  The passports would come back on Wednesday (someone would need to get auntie's from the house in Majuro to the passport office) but they would come on the same plane that Auntie,  Uncle, and I would be leaving on and we need to be checked in by the time the plane lands, for securty reasons.  The next flight out is on Friday but the doctors only gave Uncle a week which means he might not make it through the long trip and if he does, the damage to his kidneys might be so bad they won't start working again, even with dialysis.
  I wish I could say I was hopeful for a perfect outcome but I can't.  The most I can say is that I'm prayerful and doing everything I can to help someone who has become an intgral part of our family. 

2 comments

  1. i'm so sorry. i know this has to be such a difficult time for you all.

    ReplyDelete

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