Thursday, February 18, 2010

Part 2, Feb 18

Feb 18…1030pm

The afternoon was much better today….guess heat exhaustion will make you question just about anything…including your own salvation!

The afternoon today was one of the best days yet. Five…yes five, Cambodian TV stations came to the hospital to do a story on the team members who were part of the cath lab team. We were all snickering as we held a press conference that was longer than the pre game interviews that Josh McDaniels is a part of. Josh and 3 other members of our team and the Cambodian Dr were all a part of the interview. They were talking about pacemakers and ablations. One of our team members, a lab tech, is a huge man…6’ 3” and about 250 pounds. He is bald and loud…loud in a very endearing way. He has made us laugh so much and today was no different. The tv anchor asked him what one of the complications could be from having a pacemaker in place. With a straight face he said, “Well, if they fall out of their tuc-tuc that would be bad for the pacemaker.” (a tuc-tuc is a little motorbike that is pulling a cart like a carriage that people sit in..nearly impossible to fall out of!) The three of us who were standing in the back of the room, were laughing so hard we were crying. The Cambodian Dr who was interpreting said exactly what our team member said, and all of their eyes got so big! I thought I was going to start snorting I was laughing so hard! Just what we all needed.

They were interviewing the head of the Cardiology Department here…an older man who survived Pol Pot and has an amazing story. He is very respected and everyone is usually very silent around him. We started to smell smoke in the room while Dr. Kree was talking and looking around we see the x-ray box was on fire! The box is right behind him and he is still talking to the tv crew. One of the nurses stood up, interrupted and told him there was a fire! Just another moment to giggle!

I have been on my feet for nearly 12 hours in the heat and humidity….we used my legs to teach the students about “pitting edema”. You could write your name in the swelling on my shins and maybe still see it in the morning! Yuck…but so worth it to see the smiles in their eyes as the poked on the white girls legs. I’m sure they will be talking about me for a while.

At the hospital the families sleep on the sidewalks and in the alleys at the hospital. There are 6 patients to a room and no room for family to stay with them. If a patient has open heart surgery, there are no visitors allowed in the ICU and the patient stays there for 48 hours. Only when the pt is moved to a room is the family allowed to visit. Today, I passed the same 4 women 50 times as I raced up and down the sidewalk. I smiled at them each time and by the time evening came they come and stood by me and we tried to talk to eachother. I kept talking and so did they. I had no idea what they said, and they had no idea what I was talking about! I did figure out that the woman’s daughter had open heart surgery today that was provided by our team…at very little cost. The woman was about to sell her whole rice field so her daughter could have the surgery and then she found out she was chosen to have surgery provided by our team. I began to cry when I found out the story….the women who had been so stoic all day began to weep as well. I held them, prayed for them out loud and wept with them. I held 2 women in my arms…Roark is just as tall as they were. I asked Jesus to hold them…one of the women was a Buddhist nun. I asked Jesus to make himself real to them and to give them hope. I stood with them for almost 2 hours. Saying nothing for most of the time…only smiling, crying and praying. I will never forget their faces. What a gift they were to me….I so hope they knew how loved they were in those moments and I will never forget their faces.

What a sweet day we had! I know Josh had an amazing day as well, but the dinner he had last night has attacked his stomach for most of the day. He is not feeling well at all and we are praying he is much better in the morning. Please pray he is better soon and able to function tomorrow. We can so feel your prayers and are so thankful for all of you!

Off to sleep now….morning comes very quickly!

Love you all,


3 more sleeps and we will be home! So much to tell you. We are praying for you and love you so much. Tomorrow we will go to another market and see some more little kids. You would love to play with them…they drink their pop out of plastic bags with a straw! I wonder if you could do that? We will try when we get home.


  1. Wow what a story....what a week! I can only imagine your exhaustion in so many ways! But wow have you all been used mightly during this trip! xoxox

  2. I'm the luckiest lady on the planet... I get to spend tomorrow with the birthday girl!! Don't you worry... ZL and LJ will be spoiled....I can't wait!! Been waiting all week for tomorrow to come! Still praying God's grace and mercy... His tender mercy... for you and His peeps. love, love to you both. xoxo

  3. When I was in the rural villages of Cambodia, I helped a girl deliver her baby in her hut. I found out that they didn't believe in feeding the baby AT ALL until the mother's milk came in. Sometimes, that was 3 days! I was trying to explain to all these little old women, her grandmother's and aunts, via a male interpreter, that mom needed to put baby to breast. They kept laughing at him saying "breast".

    I am so happy you get to experience this. I can't wait to see your pictures!