It was a rainy night in early August in a village a couple hours north of Tansen. Something woke the mom in her typical Nepali mud house – and when she looked over to where her 12 year old daughter, B, was sleeping, something didn’t seem right. As she lit a lamp in order to see better, she was shocked to see a large snake wrapped around her daughter’s neck! It was a Krait – and it had bitten her!. The mom yelled for her husband, and they managed to get the snake off of her and killed it. They realized they needed to get help as soon as possible. Calling for an ambulance from where they lived wasn’t possible – so the father hurried out into the night and managed to find a vehicle willing to drive them to Tansen. They started off towards the hospital. Unfortunately, the car broke down after some way. They got out and found another vehicle and continued on in the dark and the rain. This next car ran out of gas…but the third vehicle finally made it to the Emergency Room at Tansen Hospital. By now, this young girl was struggling. The Krait is the type of snake which causes paralysis of the nerves – and it was getting hard for this girl to continue to breathe. Within minutes of her arrival in the ER, she had to be put on a ventilator as she was no longer able to breathe on her own. She was moved to the HDU (High Dependency Unit), where she was given multiple doses of anti-venom, and the prayers for her healing began.
Les was doing rounds the next morning with the medical team, and saw B on the ventilator. Her face, neck, and breathing muscles were completely paralyzed from the snake venom. This made her look unconscious, except that she was able to weakly squeeze a hand when asked to do so, and to wiggle her toes a little. Her mother, who had stayed at the bedside all night, was convinced that her daughter was as good as dead, and was quite despondent despite assurances that she would now likely recover. As they were checking her, they realized that perhaps she shouldn’t be a medical (adult) patient – Her mother said she wasn’t 14 as her chart said, but only 12. So – she was taken over by the pediatrician and his team of doctors. She has had a long journey back to health – she will hopefully be discharged in the next few days from the hospital. She took a long time to get off the ventilator, and then developed a pneumonia which required intravenous antibiotics. However, we are so pleased that B has survived and is now thriving and almost ready to go home. Her smile lights up the Pediatric ward and warms our hearts. Her family will be able to return to life in the village – and won’t go with a huge debt over their heads thanks to the generous giving of so many friends from around the world who support the Medical Assistance Fund. Thanks for your continued prayers for Tansen hospital – and for B and her family.