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Friday, May 27, 2011

Update from Ethiopia (Webit)

In late March, we had gotten word from Ethiopia that one of the little girls that attends "Trees of Glory" care-point, was extremely ill and was being admitted to the hospital.  Seven year old, Webit, was born with a leg deformity that caused her more and more pain as she got older. 

On the day that she was to meet her sponsor family  (Laura and Charlie Herwehe) at the care-point, she had to be carried there by her older sister.  She tried to put on a brave face, but the pain was severe and Webit ended up whimpering and crying during much of their time together.

Her sponsor mom was extremely worried for Webit and inquired with the staff about her condition.  They found out that Webit had recently been treated by the village traditional healer (shaman) which had caused an infection.  She was in extreme pain and her little body was trying to fight an advancing infection.  Laura then contacted me to let me know the situation and to find out how we could intercede for Webit.

Webit's family faced two challenges ... number one, they could not afford any type of medical treatment for Webit, and number two, their first course of action was to take her to a witch doctor (traditional healer) for treatment in accordance with their cultural and religious beliefs.  When her family realized that the traditional treatment had worsened her condition, they were open to considering medical treatment although they had no hope of affording it.

Our staff at Trees of Glory and the Children's Hopechest team began the lengthy process of acquiring the medical clearances and permissions to admit her to the hospital in Addis Ababa.  We immediately contacted sponsor families and our blog readers to raise the funds for her treatment (which is now fully funded!!!).  Just as the permissions came through ... Webit took a sudden turn for the worse, and with permissions in hand, she was rushed to the hospital.  The care-point staff and her family wondered if it was too late ... if the infection had overwhelmed her fragile body.

After surgery, Webit's condition rapidly improved and she has been living at the care-point full time with her older sister so that she can get needed medical care, hygiene and healthy food while she recovers.  We are waiting for a doctor appointment next week, when the pathology reports will determine if there are any cancerous cells in the original bone deformity.  Please continue to keep Webit in your prayers!

Jessica Irvin, one of our sponsor families, was able to visit Trees of Glory care-point this week!  As a pediatric nurse practitioner, Jessica was able to check in on Webit for us.  Here is Jessica's email along with a photo sent by Hopechest today!!

Webit with care-point director, Simret. 
Her leg is fully casted but she is recovering well!

From Jessica ... Webit looked significatly healthier than she did in the photos that her sponsor had taken with her in January. She is still super skinny, but Simret  (the care-point director) says that she has gained weight since being at TOG. She was smiling and able to walk without assistance except for holding Simret's hand. Her leg is completely casted, so I was unable to examine the wound.  She is going to the doctor on Wednesday to have the cast removed.  Her coloring was good and all of the staff seemed very happy with the improvement she has made.

As always, I enjoyed my time with the Hopechest staff. They took me to their office here and were kind and helpful as usual. I continue to be impressed with the integrity of the services that they provide and trust that the kids are in great hands at Trees of Glory.

Jessica (along with her mom, mom-in-law, and her new adopted daughter) will be flying back to the U.S. on Saturday and we will look forward to more updates and photos.

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