When we were leaving Cabaret there was a young woman in the back of one of the trucks. One of the other missionaries asked why she was there and he was told that she needed a place to recuperate and eat good food. He said the orphanage was full so Pam and I offered our house. We found out that the night Cabaret flooded, she woke up and ran for her 3 month old baby. As she was trying to get to higher ground, the flood waters came. A banana tree washed by and knocked the baby out of her arms. She was swept down the raging waters and into a tree where she fought through the night. She was found the next morning in the tree, alive, but her baby was not.
She was 17 years old.
We brought her home and got her some soup. She had no energy and was bandaged from the many cuts on her body. We set up a bed and table for her in the living room. Later, however, we discovered she didn't just need a place to recuperate from the trauma, and it wasn't only food she needed. When we felt her forehead, we discovered that she was burning up. After fighting with her to let us take her temperature, we discovered she had a fever of 104.3. We immediately tried to get the sheets off of her and put a cold rag on her head. She refused. We tried giving her tylenol, but she refused. After nearly an hour of trying to calm her fears of foreign medicine and wet rags, she finally let us get her temperature down. Little did we know that the next few days of our lives would look just like this!
The poor girl was very, very sick. On top of losing her baby and getting stuck in a tree during a flood in the middle of the night, she was daily fighting a nasty cough and an even nastier fever. We took her to a clinic that diagnosed her with pneumonia and prescribed anibiotics among other things. Of course, more pills. From day 1 she refused to take any pills, so Pam and I had to smash the pills and put them in various beverages. One day it would be sprite, another day coke, and still others, just water. She was very, very picky and changed her mind constantly. We decided it was a combination of her age (teenage girl!), recent trauma (losing a baby), high fevers (delirious) and the foreign environment (different house with 2 foreigners taking care of her). After 4 days of battling with her to have her take her meds, eat healthy food, and bathe, we decided it was best for her to return to her family. We were able to get her back to her village where her sister took over nurse duties.
I am happy to report that a week after staying with us she was regaining her strength and doing much better. I am waiting to find out the most recent update as to her mental, emotional, and physical condition.