When we got this news, we were shocked. We had been praying that Rachel would have the courage to face this new round of surgeries. We had not foreseen that -from her 22 year old perspective- finishing nurses training and getting married, had priority over the long term benefits of being able to eat normally for the rest of her life. She figured that she would lose her place in the training program if she were to be absent for 2 ½ months.
Thanks to the intervention of a number of key people (her uncle, and a couple SIM medical colleagues) as well as much prayer, the director of the hospital (where Rachel is in training) mandated her to return immediately to Cotonou for the surgeries and told her that she could take up to 3 months off without losing her place in the nursing program!
Well, again thanks to much prayer and the intervention of a SIM medical colleague who was in Cotonou at the time, although Rachel’s original 5 hour surgery slot had been given to another patient, they were able to find another time in February to reschedule her surgery.
Rachel is in Cotonou. She will be seen by the surgeons on Friday, the 9th and likely have her surgery early next week.
Rachel is presently staying in the Mercy Ships ‘Hope Center’ where the ministry provides hospitality for patients arriving in the city from great distances inland. She arrived several days early in order to accompany a mother and baby with a cleft pallet, from the north. The staff are grateful to have Rachel stay at the Center as she is able to translate for a number of patients who speak only Baatonu.
Please pray for courage for Rachel and for the team doing the surgeries. We are also praying that the compassionate care Rachel will receive on the ship will have an impact on the kind of care she will give others as she completes her nurses training.