I stood over my patient with a team of doctors and intensive care nurses as he struggled to breathe. We had run out of ideas and the situation was critical. Simon had a severe dental abscess that had led to airway obstruction an emergency tracheostomy being formed and his lungs were failing: fast.
Amongst us we had a lot of experience. I felt so blessed to have some of the best doctors I have ever worked with by my side but I couldn’t help but think this guy wasn’t going to make it. He was 23 years old.
As we stood there watching we decided to pray, the machines were alarming and the unit was busy but we stood and together we prayed over this man. I have never been in a situation at home were that would be allowed or appropriate. It was amazing to be able to stand together, united in a powerful and mighty God. The next 24hrs were scary. I have been an intensive care nurse for two years in a big hospital with everything at my disposal and seemingly endless resources. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things we could do for simon to make him better if we were back in England. The serious realisation that we are alone on a ship on the coast of the Congo sunk in. There is no where else to go, no one else to call and no better hospital in the next town (or country). We are limited.
Simons big sister sat at his bedside that night with a straight face. I explained to her the seriousness of the situation and that he may not make it. She would sit and pray, hard, but she never once looked scared or anxious. She said that God would protect him. Her faith was inspirational.
And she was right!
Within a few days Simon was walking and talking and his lungs miraculously recovered. We are still not sure how because his rate of progress was completely abnormal. The doctors saw him on the ward round and we stood together and tried to medically explain what had occurred; before concluding this might just be a miracle.
Last Sunday I saw simon on the beach with his friends. Just hanging out. Laughing and joking Like nothing ever happened. Magic.