This is an inspiring and powerful story! Life rather than death for a Sudanese woman and two Africans, giving their own blood, to save her life, though she was not of their family or tribe. God is doing wonderful things through His House of Hope – bringing hope and healing to the people of this new nation!
Through the eyes of Dr Jeff Perry, currently the solo doctor at His House of Hope:
“March 20, 2012 started like most Tuesdays here in Yei—oatmeal, family devotions, still 85 degrees inside… but was interrupted by a call from the nurse that one of the older house mothers had vomited 700ml of blood and was very sick. I arrived to clinic as the second bottle of normal saline was going in, and staff devotions were underway. Despite the fluids, her blood pressure was very low (69/57) and heart rate high (120), indicating she was in shock from the acute blood loss, likely from a bleeding stomach ulcer. The inside of her eyelids were completely pale (conjunctival pallor), suggesting severe anemia, so we quickly checked a hemoglobin level (a test we had just started doing). It was 2.9 (normal is 10-15)! We knew if she did not receive a transfusion quickly, she would die.
At the same time, we were discussing which day during the week we should move to the new clinic. John, one of the nurses, very emphatically said “today,” and all of us agreed—this would be the day, and not only that, we would have our first inpatient that night!
Several of the staff swept, cleaned, and organized the rooms in Bet Eman (His House of Hope), while others saw the steady stream of patients arriving at the one-room clinic next to the orphanage. Meanwhile, Frazer (lab tech) and I started discussing how to transfuse her. We could run the necessary screening tests and type and crossmatch the blood, but our centrifuge had just broken the day before, and we did not have the bag and tubing to collect and give the units of blood. By the grace of God, one of our sister clinics had the blood giving sets and a working centrifuge.
Meanwhile, despite over 2 liters of fluids, the patient’s blood pressure was decreasing (55/40). She had vomited blood again, and it was obvious she was actively bleeding. We stopped and prayed that the Lord would sustain her, allow us to coordinate the transfusion, and that His power would restore her body through these interventions. At the next check of vital signs, her blood pressure had increased slightly for the first time.
We tested the patient’s blood type and started looking for donors. All of the family members available were NOT compatible, so we started asking staff. Here in East Africa, your identity is largely based in your tribe. An African does not primarily think of himself by political boundaries (South Sudanese, Kenyan, or Ugandan), but by tribe. Our patient was a Kakwa, while the two staff donors we found were Dinka and Kikuyu (Kenyan).
In the early afternoon, family and staff carried our first patient (now unconscious and critically ill) to the new clinic on a backboard. The donors were bled, and the transfusion begun. Miraculously, the patient continued to improve, woke up, and stabilized. It was an incredible picture of the truth that through Christ’s blood, we are reconciled to God and with one another. He will call worshippers from every tribe and nation. Bet Eman was open—in HIS timing!”