By Sr. Keresifon Clement Ekanem Republic of Benin 13.03.2022
She walked into the Clinic (one of the Clinics I worked after my training) emaciated with wrinkled skin, looked weak and breathless, accompanied by her mother who looked exhausted too. Other patients were excused and Patience (not her real name) was received as an emergency. Her name and other data were taken; she looked older than her age. Several laboratory analyses were run on her as well as physical examination. On the long run, it was discovered she had a terminal illness and an umbilical hernia. My goodness, is this not a case for a Teaching Hospital? I thought to myself but I knew that the Doctor was going to accept her, if he does accept her then God will have to perform a miracle in this Clinic. In fact he did admit her and God worked a miracle.
Patience was admitted and placed on medications but the first few days were no fun. We were all on our toes morning, afternoon and night. She had been sick for a long time and they had spent barely all they had in different hospitals without any improvement The truth was that she found it difficult to accept at that stage the reality of her situation. In fact it can be difficult, we understood. However, I keyed in to the faith of the doctor who admitted her in the Clinic in the first place. We did our best and gave her time to accept what was, while praying that her condition improved. What helped were simple, regular visits to her bedside and touch. During those times, I would sit by her bedside, held her hand and we chatted. We gave Patience the attention she needed which she, as well as her mother, appreciated.
The first week passed and we started seeing Patience wore a smile on her face and sang some songs. It was really a good sign and gave us hope. To the glory of God, her condition got better few weeks later and we were all grateful to God. But that was not the end; Patience had also the umbilical hernia to battle with. She was then booked for surgery. She was duly prepared for and she and her mother consented to the surgery. All was set, and she walked in to the operating theater smiling. We all scrubbed, prayed and the surgery began. It was done under local anesthesia so we kept chatting with her every now and then throughout the procedure; she recovered earlier than expected. She got out of bed earlier, moved about and would visit us sometimes at the Nursing Station to chat with us. Even though she was a patient, she felt a sense of belonging because “we gave her hope to live and smile again and hope to her mother that all is well. You never neglected me and you held my hand and chatted with me,” she said. Though she had a terminal illness, she had accepted it in good fate and agreed to take her medications religiously.
We could not believe our eyes when Patience came back for check-up; she had changed and looked her age. It was really amazing and we thanked God for that miracle.