Note from GapFill.org’s Founder: Kay and John West had a “scare” in Swaziland the beginning of May, emergency surgery needed for John in a third world country. GapFill has added a project to help with the medical bills and future surgeries needed. They do have insurance but will still have “out of pocket” expenses. Still working on getting the exact amount, but wanted to include Kay’s recap below in our blog. As Kay mentions, “Nkhulunkhulu muhle, sonkhe sikhatisi!” “God is good, all the time!”
Briefly, John woke me up early Tues. morning saying he felt he needed to go to the hospital. The hospital is approx. 2 and 1/2 hours away and across the international border in South Africa. We quickly packed overnight bags just in case. John was in pain but miraculously was able to drive. This was truly a blessing as I’d never driven in SA and the 2-lane highways are tricky. We got to the ER around 10:30 am and ended up waiting 6 hours. During that time they did do some tests, including a CT scan once they saw the results of the primary tests. Once the doctor saw the CT scan, suddenly there was a lot of movement and they rushed John to the operating room (called the theater here). Thankfully our friends Char and Sandra showed up at that time to give lots of support. They waited with me until John was out of surgery. Crazy, but no one ever came to tell us he was out, or to let us know how it went, but these two pros (Char and Sandra–more on that in a minute) knew how to get the info. Though John seemed to be okay, it was about 8:30 pm when he was finally wheeled into his ward (ward with 3 other men, beds sectioned off by curtains), and I refused to leave so the sweet staff found me an empty hospital bed in another ward to “sleep” in.
Wed. and Thurs. were spent just letting them clean John’s wound and waiting for the infection to be gone. I stayed at the hospital all day, and slept at the home of our friends Mitch and Char. John was still on IV drip for pain and antibiotics all this time. Fri. we were on an emergency waiting list for John’s next surgery, for the wound to be stitched up. They finally took him back around 3:45 pm and returned him to his ward around 5:35. Sat. he was released around 12:30 pm and we quickly took care of necessary business and came back to Swaziland before the border closed at 6 pm! Yep, John drove again!
John will need to go back next Mon., May 20, to get the staples removed, and then in 6 weeks he’ll need another surgery for a hernia that suddenly showed up post op this time. At least this time we can plan better!
- One car is still in the shop and the other is not in great working order. God got us there and back!
- You prayed all last year for our fellow Swazi missionary friends Mitch and Char. Mitch is the one who had a botched emergency appendectomy here in Swaziland and multiple life-threatening complications for months after that. He endured over 5 months in the very same hospital (where he was transferred after the initial bad surgery) where John stayed this time. Because of his hard-earned experience, he and his precious wife Char had invaluable insight and wisdom and practical advice to help us through the week, and they know the hospital and staff backwards and forwards!
- Mitch and Char as well as our mutual friend Sandra also “just happened” to move to Nelspruit (city where the hospital is located) just last month. As part of their ministry, they actually purchased and live in a beautiful retreat facility, and so were more than equipped to allow me to stay with them in their gorgeous place!
- John takes VERY good care of me. But this week I was forced to learn lots of new skills, like driving in Nelspruit (pretty scary night one night getting lost), how to use a smart phone for emails and FB, and how to use our GPS, and how to purchase cell phone airtime.
- Our “adopted” Swazi “son” “just happened” to be travelling through Nelspruit and was able to be there with me when they wheeled John away for the 2nd time.
- A friend “just happened” to have it on her heart to give us a little extra money this month the same day John was admitted to the hospital–this will go a long ways in taking care of some of the costs incurred.
- The morning we were to leave the hospital there was a pretty intense storm raging outside–this part of the world gets wild thunder, lightening, and rain storms with a lot of flooding, etc. Some of you got the message and prayed, and miraculously we had beautiful weather all the way home. Then the storm resumed!
- Biggest blessings of all, of course, are that John is well on his way to recovery, and all of you and your faithful prayers and love and support!
“Nkhulunkhulu muhle, sonkhe sikhatisi!” “God is good, all the time!”
John and Kay West are missionaries in Swaziland (A country slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, ruled by the world’s last absolute monarch. An African kingdom of approximately one million people…who are dying at an astonishing rate) . Visit the “Items Needed” tab on the GapFill.org website to see how you can help with some of the medical bills the West Family will incur. To receive GapFill.org’s blog posts automatically via email, enter your email address in the “FOLLOW GAPFILL VIA EMAIL” box on the right-hand side of the blog and click “Follow”.