I honestly didn’t know it was possible for my heart to hurt this bad. On Friday afternoon when Twalib and I left the hospital, Florence, the 8 year old girl with severe RHD, was not doing great but she was stable. On Monday morning when I arrived at the hospital, she was not in the oxygen room where I normally find her. I thought that maybe she had been transferred to the ward because she no longer needed oxygen support. The attending doctor soon informed me that Florence passed away on Saturday morning due to congestive heart failure. I immediately thought “How could this happen?” She was one of the lucky ones who were brought to a hospital with a talented cardiologist. She had a supporting family who cared about her treatment. I realize that there are times when there is nothing that can be done but I hate it; hate that its reality and hate that this preventable disease took the life of an innocent 8 year old child.


Although Florence was all I could really think about on Monday, I continued my day by visiting a bunch of places that offer computer skills classes emphasizing Microsoft Word and Excel. I sometimes forget how lucky I am to know how to use a computer and it’s extremely vital that our project nurses learn these skills. I have made a deal with them that if they go (to a course/teacher I approve of) then I will pay half of their tuition. I think the total is around $30 for 60 hours of training (what a steal) so it will cost me less than $50 to have all 3 of them attend. They are surprisingly extremely excited about the course and I’m even more excited because we will be able to use our time much more efficiently.


On Monday night my roommate Jess finally returned from a trip to Thailand with her friends from college. Her trip sounded absolutely amazing but her trip from the Airport to Gulu- not so amazing. After her driver gipped her out of some money and drove her all around the city running his personal errands before they left, her driver was driving recklessly and flipped the car when she was about an hour outside of Gulu. Luckily no one was hurt in the accident, minus a small cut on her hand, but all of the windows were shattered and the car obviously totaled. Luckily we have some amazing Ugandan friends, one of which jumped into a car the second he heard, to go retrieve her and our friend Tony, who was also in the car. Her whole trip took over 13 hours and sounded like an absolute nightmare. I think its safe to say she enjoyed the glass of wine that was already poured for her when she walked in the door. As nice as it was to have some alone time this weekend to work on my applications, I definitely missed her. It’s so nice to have someone to share your day with or simply have a meal with. I think I would go crazy if I lived alone.


On Tuesday morning my heartache continued when Opio, the little boy with constrictive pericarditis, came into the clinic. He will be leaving for Kampala sometime next week and I am so excited that he has the opportunity to get this surgery. With that being said, it is so hard to witness how much pain he is in. Today we discovered that he had a 2 pleural effusions, which needed to be tapped. He is such a champ dealing with everything he has been through however no 8-year-old child should have to be stuck with a needle like that without any type of numbing medication. He was crying so hard and was in so much pain throughout the procedure that he actually started vomiting. Now my friends will tell you I am not a crier; they sometimes even question if I have emotions at all. This, however, was a lot for me to handle and I actually had to step outside of the room for a minute. I am so hopeful that his suffering will be over within the next month and can’t for the day that he comes to the clinic with a smile on his face, happy that he can go back to school.


Currently deciding on a movie for tonight. Happy Hump Day!