by Simon Gelzenleuchter,  2010/09/24

With this first article, coordinator Simon Gelzenleuchter continues the reporting series “Thoughts from Pakistan”. Focus of his report is the four-year old girl Aishe.

It is hot again. Thanks to a makeshift straw hut that has been set up by our cooperation partner Kindernothilfe e.V. (Duisburg), we are protected from the sun to some degree. Our humedica team, consisting of two doctors, a medical student and a nurse, defies the heat at our “wild camp” bravely and without complaints.

Aishe has been fed fluids and salts with a little syringe over several hours. Photo: humedica/Raphael Müller

Many patients are waiting for a doctor to attend to them and for being given urgently needed drugs. Many of them suffer from fever, their skin is blotched with infections and they often have huge, festering wounds that we can treat directly.

However, it is a nerve-racking and highly difficult task to treat those abscesses, in particular if the patients are little children who of course do not understand why the cut and the accompanying pain are necessary. I am suffering every single child treated.

Other children are watching and when they see that the other little patients are crying they become scared, too, and this makes treatment more and more difficult each time. But nevertheless the people like us. Only little time ago, one of the chiefs of the various different tribes living here told us how grateful everyone was for our help.

Amidst all this hustle and bustle, I am confronted with Aishe. Her story is sad and it becomes even more depressing when you imagine how many children are suffering the same fate. Aishe is four years old and so weak she is almost unconscious. Her small body is hardly more than skin and bone, her skin is blotched with infections. Our team immediately takes care of the little girl. Aishe is weak and she is afraid.

Aishe’s mother works for one euro per day in order to feed the little girl and her five siblings. Her oldest sister is seven years old and she does not know when and how much she and her brothers and sisters should drink; and above all what they should drink.

Coordinator Simon Gelzenleuchter supported the medical team with looking after the little girl. Photo: humedica/Raphael Müller

In face of her condition, our doctors decide to put Aishe on a drip immediately. However, she has such bad veins that it does not work. Hence, we start feeding the little girl fluid and urgently needed salts with a 5 millilitre syringe. Drop by drop and over several hours. But Aishe drinks; this is good!

On midday, I am alone with Aishe for several hours and try to fight her diarrhoea with our little syringe. In moments like this I know exactly why I am here and take part in this relief mission. There is no place in the world where my presence could be just as important as it is here right now. I thank God for the opportunity to experience this.

When Aishe’s mother returns, she cries terribly about her daughter’s dismal condition, but she agrees to have her moved to hospital. After we have assured her that she will not have to pay anything, we take Aishe and her parents to the hospital. There, she is taken in immediately, which can certainly also be credited to our humedica t-shirts. Sometimes, our presence causes the procedure of taking in patients simply to be handled faster.

On the next day, Aishe’s mother visits us and amid tears she tells us that her little daughter’s health is improving. Aishe is returning to life once more. It is difficult to describe the gratitude of this mother with appropriate words. We, the mission team members of humedica and Kindernothilfe, are at least as grateful for having been able to save a little life. I would like to thank God for this with all my heart.

On behalf of the entire team and numerous grateful patients, on behalf of Aishe, I would like to send kind regards to you in Germany.

Yours faithfully,
Simon Gelzenleuchter

Dear friends and sponsors: Pakistan is more and more disappearing from the media and therefore also from our awareness. But there are still thousands of people who need our help. Another team has set out for the disaster region in Pakistan today. Please support our commitment by means of sending a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90 or by making a targeted donation via our online form.
Of course you can also transfer a donation to our bank account in the traditional way:
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Flood relief Pakistan
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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