At Duncan Hospital...
"The God I Never Knew"
|Ramesh and his medical team at Duncan
Sometimes it takes a tragedy or two for God to get our attention. Ramesh's life of sorrow began when he was a child. His mother contracted tetanus, and despite the fact that his father sold their family home and property to pay for her treatment, she still died. His father moved them to a rental house in the city to look for work. Tragically, a few years later, Ramesh's father died as well.
This left Ramesh taking on the responsibility of providing for his two younger brothers when he himself was just a teenager. He found work in a chemical factory and labored faithfully for many years, but one day, one of the chemical vats exploded and the left side of Ramesh's face, chest, and arms were badly burned by the acid. He was disfigured beyond recognition on over half of his body. The acid also ate away his left eye, causing him to lose vision in that eye.
He spent over eleven months in a government hospital, slowly healing. While he was recuperating, Ramesh's family went deeper and deeper into debt, selling most of what they owned to survive. Somehow Ramesh recovered and found work as a peanut seller. Most of his day was spent with people gawking at his scars. Ramesh's wife, three small children, and his two younger brothers all lived together in a small, rented house. The middle brother sold coconut water from a cart and the youngest brother worked in a nearby factory.
Then disaster struck again. His youngest brother ran off with the factory's owner's daughter, causing the angry owner to hire thugs to threaten Ramesh's life and torture him to force his brother to leave the young woman. In his moment of greatest despair, Ramesh felt he had nothing left to live for, and he drank down a bottle of pesticide.
He arrived at Duncan Hospital gasping for air with his wife and middle brother by his side. He was quickly intubated, started on an atropine infusion, and transferred to the ICU for ventilator support. He improved fairly quickly, and by the next day, they had removed his endotracheal tube. The staff watched him carefully for another day, prayed for him with his family, and by the third day he looked well enough to come out of ICU.
Later that afternoon, Dr. Philip felt an urge to go see Ramesh, even though he was about to teach a class. He found a concerned nurse checking Ramesh, who was slipping into unconsciousness and suffering from all the symptoms of organophosphate poisoning again. The staff broke the news to his wife and brother and rushed him into the ICU to intubate him again. Dr. Philip explained to Ramesh's family that with the second intubation he was likely to develop intermediate syndrome, a condition where the muscles become paralyzed.
His family stayed close by to support Ramesh, keeping vigil in the ICU waiting room. It was obvious how much they loved him. Again Ramesh improved, and on the sixth day he was extubated. Dr. Philip tried talking with him, but he was sullen and withdrawn. His younger brother never once came to see him in the hospital, and had called to say he didn't care if Ramesh lived or died.
A day later, another doctor checked on Ramesh and found him struggling to breathe. He was transferred back to ICU and re-intubated once again. Now Dr. Philip had to explain to the family that the chance of a quick recovery was next to nil. They were looking at another one to two weeks in ICU. The family was struggling to pay the bills because both wage earners in the family were at the hospital. The community medicine doctor did an analysis of their financial situation and determined a reasonable amount to ask them to pay, with the remainder given as charity care.
The staff continued to pray for Ramesh and he came off the ventilator two days later. They talked with him and his family a number of times about God's love for them. One of the ICU nurses gave Ramesh a copy of the Bible in Hindi, and with his one good eye he faithfully read through it, starting with the book of John. A few days later, Dr. Philip spent a long time talking with Ramesh about his life and how the Lord must have a plan for him because three times he had almost died and three times God sent someone in the nick of time to save him.
Ramesh then said something unexpected, "I knew I was going to die when I came to Duncan Hospital. I had been treated at a government hospital for the poisoning before they transferred me here. I don't remember much about when I came to this hospital, but the one thing I do remember is that I saw a vision of God when I came to Duncan. I saw Him before I went unconscious. When I survived, I kept wondering who it was that I saw, but now that I have read the Bible I know that the God I read about in this book is the One I saw when I came here." Dr. Philip was flabbergasted. He had heard of God revealing Himself to people through visions and dreams, but this was the first time one of his patients had experienced it.
The doctors and nurses prayed together with Ramesh and explained to him the wonderful news of God's love for him - that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for Ramesh's sins and that by accepting this gift of God, Ramesh could have new life. He understood and accepted this Good News.
Ramesh was still quite weak, so he spent another two and a half weeks in the hospital. When he was discharged, a large portion of his bill was given as charity so that the family wouldn't go into more debt. The hospital staff threw a party for Ramesh before he left. He shared with them at the party, "My whole life I never knew this God. But because of what happened to me, I met Him for the first time here in a vision. After being here, I know who it is I saw in my vision. Now that I know about Him, I will tell all of my friends and family about what this God has done in my life!" His smile radiated as he shared with them. It was still the same crooked smile due to the scars on his face, yet his countenance was transformed. Though the physical scars remained, Ramesh was made whole because of God's incredible love for him. In God's redeeming work, Ramesh went home a sinner forgiven, a heart transformed with the assurance of knowing a Friend who will never abandon him.
Through Dedicated Doctors and Nurses...
Finding Relief From Seizures
Pintu was a 14-year-old boy who came to Duncan with a history of uncontrollable seizures over a seven-year span. His family had spent almost all their money going from hospital to hospital trying to find a cure. No one was able to get his seizures under control, even at the major medical institutions in Delhi.
He came to Duncan's emergency department and received a thorough exam. His labs showed that the "seizures" he was having were muscular contractions caused by abnormal calcium metabolism. It was determined that Pintu had diminished parathyroid hormone secretions, so once he received medication to treat that condition along with calcium supplementation, this boy who had seized up to eight times a day was finally cured.
|Pintu and Dr. Christo Philip
With tears in his eyes, his father told the hospital staff how bright his son was, but that due to his seizures, Pintu hadn't been allowed to go to school. Everyone thought his family was cursed because of his son's condition. He said, "I have gone to every part of this country for a cure, and if only I had brought him to Duncan years ago, how much better my son would have been!"
Pintu returns to Duncan regularly for checkups and continues to do well. He is getting private tutoring to catch up in his studies. This young man's life was drastically changed thanks to the thorough medical care he received at this EHA hospital.
Miracles Are Happening...
Brought Back to Life -- Three Times
| Ragini (in pink) with hospital staff and family
The odds were stacked against her. Ragini, a 19-year-old young woman, found out her husband had lost his job and responded by attempting suicide. Upon arrival at Duncan Hospital, she was struggling to breathe, so staff intubated her immediately and placed on the ventilator in the ICU. In her first two days in the hospital, she had three separate instances of cardiac arrest lasting at least five minutes and requiring CPR. Each time, the medical team faithfully got her heart going again.
She then developed intermediate syndrome, which paralyzed her for almost three weeks. After almost a month in the hospital, this
woman whom hospital staff did not think would survive, much less speak or eat again on her own, was able to do all that and more. Ragini walked home on her own two feet. Her family was so grateful for the care provided to her at Duncan -- especially the nurses who lovingly cared for her for over a month and kept her from getting bedsores.
Ragini came back for a visit three months later, a completely transformed young woman with no residual neurological deficit. Everyone thanked the Lord for her miraculous healing.
Through the Mother and Child Health Clinic...
Duncan Hospital Educates Women
Rabita Devi is a woman from Guleria village in Bihar. Married at 16, Rabita suffered the grief of delivering two stillborn children over the course of the next seven years.
Rabita Devi and her baby
In 2012 she conceived for the third time. Understandably, she was anxious about losing this child too. She couldn't stop thinking that her baby could die.
One morning as she peeped from her window she saw a horse and cart near her home with a mother stepping out, holding her newborn baby. She went to this neighbor to ask where her baby had been born.
This neighbor proceeded to explain to her the importance of getting antenatal checkups and choosing to deliver in a hospital. She told her about the Mother and Child Health Clinic in Barwa village where antenatal care was provided at minimal cost. This clinic also referred women to Duncan Hospital for their deliveries.
Rabita went home with her hope renewed. She told her husband, Jitendra, all she had learned. Soon Rabita visited Barwa Clinic and was referred to Duncan for an abnormal presentation. On January 30, 2013, Rabita delivered a heathy baby boy via C-section. Duncan staff were able to provide her a 75 percent discount based on her ability to pay.
Today Rabita is a happy mother who makes a point to tell other young women about the importance of antenatal care and hospital deliveries. Duncan staff are succeeding in re-educating women about mother and child health, one woman at a time.
In a Duncan Dental Chair...
Man Finds Eternal Relief
His pain was more than physical. Nilay wept openly, and the dentist was quick to find out what was wrong. Because of a severe toothache, he had been unable to attend an important religious event. This particular festival draws millions of people, and the attendees' belief is that their sins will be washed away and they will attain moksha (salvation). Naturally, Nilay was upset that he could not attend. The EHA dentist who heard this story felt led to share the way of true salvation and the finished work of the cross with Nilay. Tears streaming down his face, Nilay accepted this salvation plan right in the dental chair. That day both his physical and his spiritual pain were healed.
From a Disability Screening Camp...
Feet Made Whole
Little Ashish was born with a clubfoot condition in both feet.
Ashish and his mother
Naturally, his parents were concerned, so after hearing about the disability screening camps held by Duncan's Community Based Rehabilitation Department, they brought him in when he was six months old. They had been told by the doctor at the government hospital where he was born that his treatment would involve surgery and could not begin until he was a year old.
The doctors at Duncan Hospital asked the parents to bring Ashish in weekly for serial plaster applications. After seven casts, his feet no longer had any deformity. He will continue to wear splints and hopefully will lead a normal life. Ironically, a child brought in to a disability screening camp now is no longer disabled.
Expanded Capacity Addresses Growth...
Mother and Child Health
Duncan Hospital has taken a giant step forward in their care for expectant mothers. Patients are now seen in the Mother and Child Health building, which opened in August 2011. During the first month of this facility's use, 661 babies were born. This building is enabling doctors and nurses to provide better, safer care for mothers and their children.
Many Indian women who do not live near an EHA hospital give birth at home, where the consequences of complications can endanger the lives of both the mother and baby. The compassionate care patients receive from doctors and nurses at Duncan often is their only exposure to the love of Christ.
The hospital serves approximately two million people from an area in the north Indian state of Bihar as well as parts of neighboring Nepal. If it were not for Duncan, these people would have nowhere to go for safe, sanitary medical care. The original building was constructed in the 1950s and had deteriorated significantly. Every year, during the monsoon season, parts of the hospital would flood. The new facility is cleaner, more spacious, and has more natural light and ventilation. The nurses' stations are within the wards so nurses are better able to monitor and care for patients. Currently, all inpatient services have been moved to this new facility until funds are raised to build separate medical and surgical wards as well as a complex for radiology, x-ray, ultrasound, and laboratory services. Your gift today will help Duncan Hospital move toward the reality of having this expanded facility to serve others with love.
Preparing to Serve...
School of Nursing and Medical Laboratory Techology
India has a critical need for primary health care training. An extension of Duncan Hospital's efforts to serve the poor is its School of Nursing. The students take the three-year General Nurse Midwife program, and must pass both written theory tests as well as practical exams. Once these students graduate, they can move on to become staff nurses and help the many patients they encounter.
Students often come from lower-middle-class or middle-class backgrounds from many different Indian states and also from Nepal. Some desire to upgrade from their status as Auxiliary Nurse Midwives, which is a two-year degree. The Duncan School of Nursing began in the 1950s and the General Nurse Midwife program started in the 1970s. To date, 586 nurses have graduated from the GNM program and gone on to serve at Duncan or other EHA hospitals. The School of Nursing expects to receive approval from the Indian Nursing Council as a College of Nursing so that they can offer Bachelor of Science training as well. Duncan's School of Medical Laboratory Technology also offers a course at the Bachelor of Science level to train students to become laboratory technologists. These students support the medical treatment of the doctors by collecting samples of body fluids such as blood in order to conduct tests, document results, and send this information to the doctors.
About Duncan Hospital
Located in Raxaul, Duncan Hospital serves 11 million people in North Bihar and Southern Nepal. It was founded by Dr. H. Cecil Duncan in 1930 and shaped by Dr. Trevor Strong and his wife, Patricia. The Regions Beyond Missionary Union managed the hospital until 1974, when it was handed over to EHA. Duncan’s service priorities now include obstetrics and gynecology, medicine, surgery, pediatrics, ophthalmology, radiology, and dentistry. They also provide nursing services and education.
Duncan’s current goals include striving to establish and maintain principles as they look beyond their hospital walls to impact the town and surrounding communities. Working toward social and physical transformation, they desire to impact the community’s holistic health, facilitate groups for worship, and develop trust with the local community.
In 2011, Duncan Hospital opened its new Mother and Child Health Block, a brand new facility that houses up-to-date medical equipment and patient care areas. This building has 235 patient beds as well as operating rooms, labor rooms, an ICU, and wards for pediatric patients, obstetric and gynecological patients, and newborns.
The hospital runs community health and development programs focused on six areas: urban community development; rural community development; community based rehabilitation for children with disabilities; HIV and AIDS care; community eye services; and community dental services.
They seek to work with the community to meet the needs of the poorest people, wanting to make sure that no one goes without medical care because of a lack of funds. Offering prenatal care, they help women prepare for safe childbirth and make wise decisions regarding medical care for themselves and their children. They seek to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV within the community. They also offer a literacy program, trying to help everyone who desires to learn to read.