Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Perfect Storm

On Friday evening, just as we were finishing up our ladies retreat for the weekend, an announcement came on the overhead throughout the ship and asked all emergency teams to report down to OR 3. The women in the retreat who are a part of the emergency medical teams leapt up and ran out of that room leaving the rest of us rattled and quite concerned. After a few minutes, the overhead speaker blared once again, this time asking anyone with blood type B+ to get down to the lab immediately. On the ship, the crew supplies the blood bank for all surgeries. We knew for sure at that point that something was horribly wrong. Someone was downstairs in the hospital and in desperate need of blood. Several minutes later they came back on the overhead and asked everyone onboard to stop whatever they were doing and pray for the patient in OR 3. I was so glad that so many of the women of the Africa Mercy were still together after our evening retreat. It was a surreal and rattling experience to be sitting upstairs and knowing that a patient downstairs was actively dying as we sat there. We prayed together and sat together and I cried quite a bit. There was nothing we could do but wait. They came over the intercom to name certain people they knew had the correct blood type to come down to the lab immediately and I shakily walked down to my cabin to get ready for bed. As I was about to go to sleep they came on the overhead for the last time that evening and said that the patient in OR 3 was stable, but in critical condition. The next day we found out that he made it through the night. That following day at the ladies retreat one of the anesthesiologists who had been in OR 3 the previous night told us that as everything went south so fast, she just kept thinking, “No! Why is this happening on my watch?!?” and she distinctly heard God tell her, “This isn’t your watch, it’s MY watch.” She said she could tangibly feel the prayers coming from every corner of the ship towards OR 3. What a scary evening, but what a privilege to be here among these people and with our great God to plead for miracles and for life.

*Update: This patient is now out of ICU and doing well! Praise the Lord! People have been referring to this incident as "the perfect storm" because of the horrific-ness of what happened (can't share too many details, but it's truly a miracle that this man is alive today) coupled with several other complications that happened at the same time, but still having exactly the right people here who knew what to do and a perfect God who has power over all.