Welcome to another edition of Glory Reborn e-News! This month has blown by, and we have had some successful deliveries as well as some interesting interactions with the local government. It seems there is a growing relevance for Glory Reborn here in Cebu City. While we are flattered by the necessity, we are hopeful that the city government would partner with us to improve the conditions of the healthcare system.
One Moment at a Time
Greetings! With each month our hearts grow more and more anxious to see what all the Lord has in store for Glory Reborn. We find ourselves continually pressed for space, which is a problem, that we are happy to have. We are confident that it means our staff is doing a great job and that the care and treatment you receive at Glory Reborn contrasts sharply with the alternatives in the city. Although we are ecstatic to have so many patients, we are continuing on our search for a new building. Each week we look at new places all over the city but we have yet to find one that is in very good condition. It is amazing how in just a few years many houses and buildings become so dilapidated. One building we visited last week was only 4 years old, but termites had eaten away the structure and the corrugated roof had rusted over and caved in. We are still looking into the school building we first saw, but the owner is hesitant to repair the building. We are confident that the right building is available, so we continue to look. We know that as God increases the number of mommies in our program He will also multiply the space for them to be cared for safely. Part of our growth as we previously mentioned, has been due to changes at the one public hospital (Cebu City Medical Center or CCMC) that serves the city. We had been informed by the hospital and the city council that CCMC would only take high risk and emergency cases. All normal cases would be referred out of the hospital for home delivery or delivery in a maternity center. Although I think this is a very dangerous idea, we were willing to pick up the slack of some of the normal deliveries. After a few meetings and phone calls, we also thought that these changes would have little to no affect on the emergency cases that come to our clinic, so we were confident we could still transport these patients to the hospital for emergency care. It sounded good in theory. However this month has shown us the severity of the situation, and the stark reality of less developed countries. Glory Reborn Patient with her baby We had a client who had been seen by our obstetrician and then appraised for a cesarean section due to complications that were deemed high risk. When she went to CCMC for her scheduled cesarean section they refused to accept her. The problem: she was not yet in labor. She came back to Glory Reborn, and after caring for the patient at the clinic for the night we then called CCMC in the morning to inform them that the patients labor had started and she was ready to come to the hospital with all of her supplies for her cesarean section. Our patient then returned to CCMC, but upon arrival the doctor again refused the patient and informed us that she must first have a trial of labor at our clinic. The poor patient came back again and now we had in our hands a woman who still needs a cesarean section but is being refused by the only choice she has: the public hospital. To make a very long story short our poor patient had to stay at the clinic for 16 hours where she finally went into active labor. Back I went with the patient (and this time my mom who was visiting) and we went straight into the ER. After 45 minutes of waiting for a doctor, she came, examined our patient on a bloody table where a delivery had just taken place and then began to scold me for bringing the client in. Again, for the record, our client had been appraised prior to labor, and our obstetrician deemed that she would have to deliver via a cesarean section, yet this doctor continued to scold me and tell me that she would never perform a cesarean on my patient. Tearfully my mother and I drove back to the clinic now well past 2 a.m. Tired and exhausted, we arrived only to find another woman in labor. We rejoiced when she had a beautiful, normal delivery, however the previous situation still loomed over our heads. In the morning when we finished our shift, we stopped by the hospital to see how our patient was doing. She was still in the labor room and had yet to be scheduled for cesarean section! She had now been in labor for over 24 hours and been appraised for cesarean section 48 hours ago and was still laying in a dirty labor room just waiting for her baby to be born naturally. It was clear that the situation was out of our control. Later that day, we again followed up with the patient who was attempting to try and push her baby out on her own. Since we are not allowed in the delivery room, we waited and prayed. By that evening 36 hours after labor started and 60 hours after she was appraised for cesarean section she was finally on the board for a cesarean section. Now the family had to go and find a matching blood donor and purchase more supplies for mom and baby. After twenty-six hours in the hospital, our dear patient had a cesarean section! Our mom did well and baby stayed at the hospital for a few days due to distress and infection from a lengthy labor! Ironically, this was the exact thing that we were trying to prevent. Had the poor patient received her cesarean on time when first appraised things could have gone a whole lot smoother for everyone! So by this point David and I decided this was just not fair and something had to be done. After speaking with the local Dept. of Health we were advised to make arrangements with a private hospital if we wanted better treatment for our patients. However, our patients cannot afford private care, nor can Glory Reborn shoulder all the costs. So the search began to find a hospital that would give more than a generous discount to our poor clients. Meanwhile I found myself again in a similar situation. A patient had come in for her prenatal checkup. The baby’s heartbeat was far below normal. We went to the hospital where we were sent back to the clinic because they would only accept our print out of the baby’s terrible heartbeat after it has been four hours! If the baby’s heart beat was still poor at four hours we should CALL back. Meanwhile we are trying to find somewhere to take the patient but she has no husband and no money – literally. Four hours goes on and we do all that we can at the clinic together with our OB but the patient is not in labor and the baby’s heartbeat is still terrible. So we call the hospital. Can we bring in our patient we have four hours of poor fetal heart tones recorded so on and so forth? The doctor on the other lines explains to me that they have no fetal monitor at CCMC and that the only means of listening to the baby’s heartbeat is via a stethoscope. Furthermore, the one anesthesiologist for the hospital, thats right, one, has the night off so she would not been scheduled for cesarean until morning if she did in fact need one. Now Im crying because I have a mom who wants to save her baby, a staff that wants to save a baby, no money to go private and a doctor in a hospital that is refusing our case! Which is not entirely her fault since there is no equipment in the city hospital and one anesthesiologist who probably needs and deserves more than one night off! However in the moment it was beyond upsetting. So I call a public hospital that serves persons from outside the city. (A provincial hospital.) My voice still shaking as I tell the story of my poor patient whose baby is dying by the minute. She tells me that she is not allowed to take patients from the city. Now my voice is really shaking and Im just trying to believe that by a miracle this woman could go into labor and only by a miracle would her baby survive. I do believe in miracles. As Im getting ready to hang up the phone planning what Im going to do with my staff who just would not handle listening to a baby slowly die on a monitor the doctor on the other ends says, Okay come in and we will tell them your client is from the province! Hallelujah! I can work with this. Since we had another two women in labor, David and a midwife get into the car as fast as possible and drive to the provincial hospital to find the doctor waiting for them at the door. She took our patient straight in and listened to the baby’s heart beat. Just in the 70s now and so weak. Within ten minutes the patient had a cesarean section! Baby survived and so did our hearts! But the problem is more than apparent. The city just doesn’t care about its pregnant mothers and they are not making any steps to work towards a better future for them. So we have found a private hospital who will accept our clients. Although the cost is still high at least there is a glimpse of hope for patients in extreme emergencies. I am so thankful for the doctor who had compassion on our patient. They are hard to find and we could never say thank you enough!
Current Prayer Needs
That Glory Reborn would be able to exceed its 2007 Annual Budget That the Dollar Peso exchange rate would stabilize, it has fallen from 53 pesos to $1, to 45 to $1 in just one year That the Lord would direct us as we search for a new building, and that it would be fully funded That new opportunities with metabolic and HIV screening would happen That God would continue to open doors for support in the Philippines and Australia
So generally, Glory Reborn is expanding with the number of patients we serve, in the number of women we will be able to keep in house, and with the private hospitals of the city to bring awareness and a better future for the pregnant women and infants of Cebu. Thank you for literally saving four lives and many hearts this month! Just as our hearts are indebted to the kindness of the doctor our hearts could never fully express what your prayers and donations do each and every day in Cebu City. Thank you.
Hilary & David