Mission Trip Israel – The Hospital: Part 1
Someone else had to drive, and somehow Glenn kept it together and got in the driver’s seat. Kara prayed for us the whole way to the hospital. We showed up to the emergency room and it was craziness as they tried to help us. We started walking into the hospital but they brought wheel chairs when they saw us. They hooked us up to the machines and tried for the next several hours to stabilize us.
Because she was a woman, Kara was attended to in a separate room from us and Glenn and I were in the room with our heads opposite each other. I could see Glenn’s blood pressure machine and his upper number was lower than his lower number. I’m no expert but that really sounded bad to me and so I continued praying for him. I could not stop shivering no matter how much morphine they gave me or how many blankets they put on me.
Early that morning they moved Glenn, and then later in that day, me, to Rambam hospital in Haifa because our burns were too extensive for this hospital.
Fortunately, Rambam had room for Kara and she joined us as well. It was a blessing to get moved to Rambam because they are one of the best and most experienced burn hospitals in the world. They don’t have the fancy equipment that American burn units have, but they have more experience dealing with burns due to the constant fighting in the region.
I won’t share everything that happened because it was almost a month of our lives in this hospital. But since God did so many amazing things, I want to share a few stories. Glenn and I were heavily sedated, particularly the first week. We did not leave our beds and all of our time was spent sleeping, eating, praying, and the daily debriding. This is when they pop all the blisters and scrape them off along with other damaged tissue so that new skin can grow. They then put special wrappings over the burns that stay there until the next day when the process is repeated.
I was burned about 40% of my body, which included all of my legs up to where my shorts had been in the sauna, my shoulders and back and right arm. My chest and face did not get burnt. My legs were the worst – particularly the tops of both feet and a long area along my front left leg and a patch on the back of that leg. We’ll attach some pictures to the bottom of this post, so don’t click if seeing flesh wounds bothers you. Glenn and I were both told that we would probably need skin grafts due to the severity of our burns. Glenn’s worst burn area was his hand. His face also got crispy, which ended up giving him a nice facial peel! He looks 10 years younger today!
Debriding is brutal because you know you are about to go into severe pain, and you have to do it over and over again. About half way through our trip there we were told by several of the nurses that we reacted much differently than the Jews and the Muslims whom they debrided. Unlike the screaming and yelling that normally issued from the debridement room, one nurse said she was surprised how we just closed our eyes and silently endured the pain. This is one of the many little things that I think showed Jesus within us to the staff there who was a mixture of Jews and Muslims, mostly all non-religious. There was also an Arab Christian head nurse who was really sweet, but I also got the impression that her faith wasn’t as important to her.
And then there was Anki! Anki is a Dutch nurse who was living her life on mission as a nurse in The Land. She had felt called to leave her home and family, living out her faith by serving these people. She was an amazing treasure to us both in the way she took care of us and in the fact that she told a few other believers in Haifa that we were there.
These pictures were taken about a week after the fire.