Sewa Bhawan Hospital
Though not fully equipped for emergency medicine, Sewa Bhawan Hospital sometimes receives patients in critical condition. If the need for medical attention is urgent, some patients have the best hope of surviving if they remain at the hospital. Kabir was one such patient. A 32-year-old breadwinner, he suffered poisoning by breathing in too much insecticide.
Unable to remove him from life support for transport to a larger hospital, the staff decided to keep Kabir in critical care. For 22 days and nights, he fought to hold on to his life. Seeing little improvement, the surgeon performed a tracheostomy. He spent another 25 days in the hospital, slowly regaining strength after the procedure.
Both his father and grandfather stayed by his side day after day, hoping desperately for his recovery. As these two men spent many weeks at the hospital, the staff shared their faith in God with them and they responded positively. As he rested in the hospital, Kabir began to understand the power of God and also put his faith in him, even before he could speak again. Eventually Kabir fully recovered and was able to return to work. His simultaneous physical and spiritual healing is a testimony to the faithfulness of God and his work through the Sewa Bhawan staff.
Impending Tragedy Turns to Blessing
As the staff at Sewa Bhawan Hospital was getting ready for church one Sunday morning, they were called to the labor and delivery room for assistance with a patient in desperate straits. Droupati Binjwar, a 22-year-old tribal woman, had been brought in from a village 35 km away and abandoned at the hospital by her husband. Her only companions were her four-year-old son and her elderly mother-in-law. Neither was in any place to help Droupati with what she really needed—a blood transfusion. Severely anemic, Droupati was not likely to survive this delivery without having some healthy blood infused into her body.
In India, anemia continues to be one of the key challenges contributing to maternal and neonatal mortality in both the antenatal and postnatal care periods. EHA works to spread awareness about the importance of antenatal checkups, as well as nutrition intake and immunization. Determined to help Droupati safely deliver a healthy baby, EHA staff jumped into action, contacting a distant blood bank to obtain a transfusion, arranging for donors, and sending a driver to pick it up. Once the transfusion was taken care of, the doctors worked with Droupati to carefully deliver her baby. An incident that could have ended in tragedy instead culminated in the birth of a beautiful baby girl, thanks to God and the tireless efforts of the Sewa Bhawan doctors and nurses.
Determined to solve the difficulty surrounding the lack of availability and affordability of blood, Sewa Bhawan has since applied for and received permission to start a blood bank at their location. Since the state of Chhattisgarh has very high rates of anemia, especially among women and children, this new facility will help save lives like Droupati and her infant for years to come.
Bedridden Patient Appreciates Care
Palliative care improves the quality of life for patients and their families who are facing physical, psychosocial, or spiritual problems associated with a life-threatening illness. EHA’s programs are designed for those suffering from a terminal illness or from a complicated long-term illness where symptoms need to be controlled. Sewa Bhawan offers home-based care supported by hospital services to those in need of their treatment in a 10-kilometer radius around the hospital. Patients like this woman, who has been bedridden for 15 years, are very thankful for the care provided by Sewa Bhawan’s team.
Experiencing Complete Turnaround
Two years ago we shared the story of 18-year-old Anupama with you. She was found semi-conscious with an empty bottle of pesticide nearby. Knowing she had tried to commit suicide, her family rushed her to EHA’s Sewa Bhawan Hospital.
Immediate treatment was begun by the staff, but a poor prognosis was given to the family. Anupama was cared for and prayed over for ten days, and slowly she recovered. During her stay at the hospital, she and her family heard about God and heard the daily prayers in the ward, and they put their trust in the healing power of God. Once Anupama was well physically, Sewa Bhawan staff provided some counseling and it was discovered that she had been cheated on in a relationship, which caused her to attempt suicide. After she accepted God, she went home with a peaceful heart.
Sewa Bhawan’s family physician, Dr. Paneer Selvam, along with a local evangelist, visited her home four miles away from the hospital, and the family gladly received them for prayer. Anupama’s extended family members living in the area also believed in God. Now, by God’s grace, Anupama is completely recovered, has forgiven her betrayer, and there is a worship group meeting in her home every week.
She has completed 12th grade and is now employed at Sewa Bhawan as an aide in the hospital ward. Now she is at the forefront, sharing with others who have attempted suicide how God has given her hope. Everyone at the hospital is thankful that God used their staff to reach Anupama, and now she is reaching others for Him.
Bitten by a Cobra
Twenty-eight-year old Kannaiah Ram was working in his fields when he was bitten by a cobra. He was rushed to Sewa Bhawan’s casualty department, but by the time he arrived, his eyes were drooping and his breath was labored.
The staff began to pray, gave Kannaiah the entire stock of anti-venom they had on hand, and put him on a ventilator. With no improvement in the next 24 hours, they asked the family to take Kannaiah to a more advanced medical facility, but they did not have the finances to do so. The staff continued to pray and give supportive treatment.
After five long days, Kannaiah began to show signs of improvement and was able to come off of the ventilator. He readily accepted God’s love when it was shared with him and is now a regular attender at one of Sewa Bhawan’s house churches.
Three years ago, Sarita arrived at Sewa Bhawan Hospital in shock. As she was wheeled into the labor room, the hospital staff noted that her pregnancy was full-term and she was bleeding profusely.
The midwife in Sarita’s village had tried all day to deliver her baby but was unsuccessful. When she became unconscious, she was brought to the hospital with a hemoglobin level of 4 gm (normal is 12-15 gms). Facing a high-risk surgery, the doctors and nurses began to pray. The surgeon found that she was pregnant with twins and her uterus had ruptured. Miraculously, Sarita and both babies survived.
She and her family believe that God healed her, and three years later, they are a happy family worshipping God.
On the Brink of Death
Her family found the young woman lying semi-conscious with an empty bottle of pesticide nearby. Knowing she had attempted to commit suicide, Anupama was rushed to Sewa Bhawan Hospital by her relatives.
Immediate treatment was begun by the staff but a poor prognosis was shared with the family. Anupama was cared for over a ten-day period and she slowly recovered. Once she was well, they provided some counseling and discovered that she had been cheated on in a relationship which caused her to attempt suicide. The love and encouragement provided by the hospital staff turned her life around, and she went home at peace.
The Community Health Department has extended their outreach from 60 to 85 villages to help villagers who have attempted suicide and provide them with counseling. They have begun a referral system to help these poor and marginalized patients.
Growth at Sewa Bhawan Hospital
A year ago, the two senior consultants at Sewa Bhawan Hospital left, leaving a hole in the staff coverage. The number of patients dropped from 120 patients to 25 in the outpatient department and from 35 to 17 patients in the inpatient department. The remaining staff faced challenges in the areas of patient care and clinical services.
But in April of 2014, a doctor couple arrived at Sewa Bhawan and began to minister. Soon an eye consultant came on board and full-fledged eye services were available. Now the hospital is slowly regaining its goodwill and patients are returning for treatment. They are again able to deliver surgical, medical, gyne, and ophthalmic services to the community surrounding the hospital. EHA staff are thankful for the growth in team members and services.
Mystery Illness Diagnosed and Treated
The doctors had no idea what was wrong with her. A six-year-old girl came in to the emergency room with breathlessness and acute pain in her abdomen. Emergency measures were administered, but her condition worsened. Determined to find the cause of her illness, the doctors discussed her case, prayed, and then met with the mother.
One fact the mother mentioned was that the girl had gone late at night to urinate, and had gone outside rather than to the toilet. Checking her eyelids, the doctors began to suspect a toxic snake bite. Time was running short, so they administered anti-snake venom while praying and explaining the situation to the parents. By the grace of God she responded within two hours and was discharged in two days. The doctors were thankful for receiving the enlightenment needed to solve this case.
About Sewa Bhawan Hospital
What was once a dispensary built to serve the people of Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh is now a 50-bed hospital providing many heath care services. Today Sewa Bhawan Hospital serves nearly 200,000 poor and marginalized people scattered over 300 villages with surgical, ophthalmologic, orthopedic, and pediatric services. They conduct numerous eye camps in various locations each year.
In the Community Health and Development Projects, almost one hundred community-based organizations (CBOs) are active in almost twenty villages. Some of these organizations are self-help groups, some are farmers’ clubs, and others are youth groups. One project they have worked on is renovating and constructing water resources. When wastelands are reclaimed, the food security of vulnerable families is established. These CBOs operate seed banks to enable farmers not to take loans from money lenders at high rates. Working along with government and non-government agencies, the community projects have been able to improve the condition of healthcare for women and children. Institutional deliveries and immunizations are more common now, while the infant mortality and maternal mortality rates have dropped.
Another Community Health and Development Project has done extensive work in the area of Reproductive and Child Health (RCH), and has increased immunization coverage, antenatal care, institutional deliveries, and use of spacing methods for family planning. They also plan to work with infertility issues. In addition to RCH, this project has also worked to replace and install hand water pumps to vastly improve drinking conditions in villages. Cleaning drainage systems also improves quality of life for these villagers.
In all they do through the Sewa Bhawan Hospital and the CHD Projects, staff seek to reach out to the lost with the love of God. In helping meet practical needs of healthcare and village water supplies, they gain a platform to share with hurting people.