Broadwell Christian Hospital
Mrs. Sharda came in with no peripheral pulse and unrecordable blood pressure. She had delivered a healthy baby just three hours earlier in a nearby hospital, but they couldn’t stop her bleeding. She was sent to the government district hospital, but when they couldn’t help either she was brought into EHA’s Broadwell Christian hospital.
Thankfully, their High Dependency Unit was newly functioning, so the doctors immediately resuscitated and intubated Mrs. Sharda and sent her relatives off to get blood from a nearby blood bank. Her uterus was not contracted at all, so the doctors planned a hysterectomy, but they had to wait two hours for the blood to arrive. The resident gynecologist was out of town, so a junior doctor did the procedure, assisted by an experienced technician.
After the surgery, the staff gave Mrs. Sharda continuous cardiac monitoring, ventilator support, and inotropic infusions to maintain her blood pressure. The doctors waited anxiously for signs that her body was recovering, and they prayed for a miracle. Overnight her blood pressure picked up and her urine output became normal; she regained consciousness. They extubated her and weaned her off the inotropic support 24 hours later. Slowly, Mrs. Sharda recovered from this harrowing experience.
A Broadwell doctor shared this case with a professor of gynecology at CMC Vellore (a top medical school in India), who said it really was a miracle because they had lost many patients in similar situations at CMC. God had blessed the staff of Broadwell Christian Hospital and brought healing to this woman through their heroic efforts.
Tuberculosis Is Cured
Pyarelal was worried when he coughed up blood. He sought medical help and eventually tested positive for Tuberculosis. After his initial treatment, his condition worsened. His crying wife called Broadwell Christian Hospital’s Community Health Team and asked for help.
The key to successfully treating TB is consistency in taking the medications. The course of treatment lasts six months, and if the medicine is not taken consistently or not taken to completion, TB will return and often then be drug resistant. By the time the Community Health Team visited Pyarelal, he was wasting away and his family had lost all hope. The staff counselled the family about the importance of taking the medications consistently.
But Pyarelal did not want to take the medicines because of his discomfort, so he began hiding them, which caused fighting in his family. The Community Health Team continued to visit Pyarelal and impress upon him the need for medicine. Then the team noticed that the family was struggling financially due to spending too much on medical care. The staff of Broadwell Christian Hospital contributed money toward purchasing a month’s worth of food for the family. After two months of continued visits, the team could see improvement. Pyarelal was eating more and gaining strength. First he was able to sit up by himself in bed, then walk around using a stick, and eventually his mental outlook improved as well. At the completion of his six months of treatment, Pyarelal was given a clean bill of health, and he now goes off daily to sell vegetables in the market to support his family. The life of this one man and his family was completely changed by the continuous care of one of EHA’s Community Health Teams.
Helping Those Most in Need
All EHA hospitals, including Broadwell Christian Hospital, offer charity in the form of fee reduction for patients who need it. (The funding to do this comes from generous donors like you.)
The trick is in figuring out who deserves it. The truly poor who may have to sell an animal or other possession or borrow from a money-lender charging exorbitant interest in order to afford the 50 cents that a doctor’s visit costs — they will seldom ask for help. They just do what they have to do to pay the bill, and then live with the financial loss. Sometimes a family will even lose their home in order to pay a medical bill. There is just no surplus income to pay for anything beyond the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing.
On the other hand, patients from the middle or upper class will often stridently demand a discount even when they don’t need it. These patients often loudly claim that they must have a reduction in fees or they will not be able to pay. Yet they may be well dressed and arrive in nice vehicles. Dr. Sujith Varghese of BCH often has to stand up to these patients who threaten to bring in the press or government officials to get their way.
A hospital staff member must determine a family’s financial ability to pay. He sits down with the family and assesses several factors to determine their need. Often the poor have very rough speech and ragged clothing when they come to the hospital. The kind of transportation they use to get there is another factor that is assessed. And their caste is still a factor as well. From all of this information, the staff member decides how much aid a family needs. Sometimes almost the whole bill is written off. Another issue is that entire families often come to the hospital with the patient, and they stay on the grounds, caring for and providing food for the patient. The nurses keep their ears open, and sometimes discover families who have nothing to eat while they stay and care for their loved one, and can offer them food assistance. Great discernment is needed to make sure each patient pays a fair amount.
Revival, Unity, and Bonding in Ministry
In 2008, when Dr. Sujith Varghese Thomas and Dr. Sunitha Varghese came to Broadwell Christian Hospital in Fatehpur, they found extensive corruption and cheating. There was a severe lack of trust between people due to widespread deception. They found people in ministry toiling in various parts of the district, often discouraged by the lack of progress. One fact became clear to them: Fatehpur District could not be reached by an individual, a group, an organization, or even a community. It had to be everyone moving together to repair the damage caused by years of strife, distrust, and conflict.
As the staff of BCH began to pray, Sujith began to talk about united intercession with pastors and Christian leaders in the area. In October of 2008, 120 people from various organizations and denominations came together to intercede for each other and the land of Fatehpur. Five years later, they are still gathering every Sunday to pray together. God has used this time to bond them, to draw them closer to Him, and to allow them to share burdens and struggles. The result—they are seeing God answer united prayer.
They can now see the big picture of ministry in the area and have a united sense of purpose and ownership. They have seen significant church growth in the communities, and the beginnings of revival have spread through the area despite persecution, discrimination, and rejection. Broadwell Christian Hospital was able to get its statutory requirements met with no bribes being paid, which was thought to be impossible. The number of patients at the hospital has steadily increased, and the building often has been used as a community meeting place. Hospital staff have trained many area pastors in basic healthcare to enable them to educate and sometimes treat people with common illnesses. All of these changes have brought unity and effectiveness in ministry to the area of Fatehpur, and the staff at BCH is thrilled to see God’s hand at work in their land.
Young Girl’s Leg Is Saved
Ten-year-old Radha was brought into Broadwell Christian Hospital with pain and swelling in her right leg. Her calf had a large open wound that was leaking a heavy discharge. Radha’s father did not seem to understand the seriousness of her situation, as the disease had spread over her whole lower limb over the course of two days. Febrile and breathless, Radha was in septic shock and her kidneys were shutting down. The EHA team had to act fast to treat this serious infection, or it would be lethal for Radha.
The staff explained the situation to the father, and he was relieved that they could treat his daughter since he could not afford to take her to a more specialized facility. The doctors did emergency surgery to remove the infected tissue, and with antibiotics and frequent wound care, Radha slowly improved and her kidneys came back to life.
But then Radha had to undergo multiple dressings for the wound to heal. She was a very cooperative patient, and eventually the doctors performed a skin graft to cover the whole wound. Today, Radha is a happy, active, ten-year-old girl whose leg is completely healed. The love of God was shared with Radha and her father, and he is now learning more about the God who loves us much more than even a father can love his daughter.
About Broadwell Christian Hospital
Begun in 1909, Broadwell Christian Hospital was founded by the Women’s Union Missionary Society. Drs. Mary and Jemima Mackenzie were the first missionaries to serve at Fatehpur, and they initially began treating patients from a small dispensary as well as roadside clinics. The hospital came under EHA leadership in 1973, and Broadwell experienced a strong season in the 1970s and 80s under Drs. Lyall. Since that time the hospital has experienced many ups and downs, but in 2003 the formation of a new team strengthened the facility and its programs. Today Broadwell brings hope and help to the many poor and needy people it serves. The major services they offer include reproductive and child health, surgery, ophthalmology, pediatrics, orthopedics, community health and development, and dentistry.
Broadwell Christian’s mission statement expresses that they desire to provide holistic health care focused on the poor and marginalized of Fatehpur and its surrounding districts. They desire to do this for all people, regardless of race, caste, creed, or religion. To this end, Broadwell’s staff focuses on prayer. They have prayer in the ward every morning and a monthly all-Fatehpur prayer meeting.
The Fatehpur Community Health and Development Program has both rural and urban components. The rural project is designed to strengthen the government’s community health system. The project staff have trained the Accredited Social Health Activists to teach as well as to identify problems, prioritize and analyze them, and develop action plans. They conduct health awareness programs on HIV/AIDS and TB. The urban project conducts refresher training for the Community Health Volunteers on issues such as family planning. Through all their programs, Broadwell Christian Hospital seeks to reach out to those around them.