Testimonial – From Drs. Tom & Karen Asher
Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital
Sierra Leone, Africa

Dear Mr. Tom Garber,

We so enjoyed having you (I-TEC Team) come & perform an electrical survey of our mission.  As you know we are totally dependent on generators for electricity at our 120 bed hospital.  The generators are in various states of disrepair, so often they will not start when we need them.  This week we had no diesel fuel in the town of Kamakwie.  The nearest diesel fuel was 3 hours away in Makeni.  Since our vehicle also takes diesel, we couldn’t send anyone for it.  We siphoned off 2 gallons to run the small generator long enough to do two emergency c-sections.  We were able to save both mothers and all three of the babies (one was a set of twins).  However the next morning as we waited for someone to come from Makeni to bring diesel fuel we had another set of twins born vaginally.  One of the babies had trouble breathing.  We bagged the child for over two hours hoping that the fuel would come so we could turn on the oxygen concentrator.  The vehicle had a flat tire and arrived 5 hours later, three hours after the child died.  I can’t guarantee that we would have saved that baby, but without oxygen, there was no chance.

During that same period of time a man came in with a strangulated hernia.  Repairing a hernia is difficult enough with our limited surgical equipment but it is very dangerous without suction (which requires electricity), in the event that the bowel would rupture, spilling bowel contents in the man’s abdomen.  We prayed and made the decision to try to reduce it and wait to do the repair until some fuel could be obtained.  This man was in terrible pain, his bowel was in his scrotum for at least an hour before he arrived by Honda from far out in the bush.  God was merciful and we were able to push the contents up inside his belly and belt it tightly until the fuel came two hours later.  Seriously, this is only one day in the continual struggle to run a full service hospital without adequate electricity.

We have such dedicated staff but the needs for trained medical workers are so great in this country that we fear our lack of power will make us lose some of our skilled workers.  We serve over 600,000 people in this country and many more from nearby Guinea. Today we turned away three patients in clinic that needed surgery.  They don’t have money to get to and to stay in Freetown.  All three were surgeries that we could do here or that could be done by specialists waiting to come, but unable to because we do not have reliable electric and therefore do not have general anesthesia and ventilator care.   We even have two nurse anesthetists that are trained in general anesthesia, we just need the electric.  It is crushing to see them walk away and not be able to help them.

We will continue praying that the I-TEC team will develop a realistic plan for power and the Lord will bring forth donors to help us get it done!
In His service,

Drs. Tom & Karen Asher
Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital
Sierra Leone, Africa