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Loose my hands, Loose my eyes

Jackie (a friend and nurse) called me, “There is a kid here in the ICU with bad burns.  He needs your help.”
I was heading that way anyway. “I’ll be there soon.” 
On arriving, I saw a child crying in agony, afraid, who had been badly burnt in a fire.  His face was too swollen to open his eyes.
“Give me something to drink,” he moaned. “I’m thirsty.”
I sat down next to him and said, “We are trying to help you. You have been in a fire. We have to take you to the theater (operating room) to help you, and if you drink water now it could hurt you. We are giving you something to drink through your arm.”
He wasn’t having it.
“Can I pray with you?
He calmed down a bit as we prayed. But he was still in pain, and he was still terrified. 
The fire came in the night. It took the life of his little brother. His parents were at the funeral. His Uncle, whom he loved dearly, was in much worse shape than he was. A younger uncle escaped unscathed physically, but appeared emotionally devastated. The boy started crying more desperately as the younger uncle approached him.
“I want water,” the boy wailed without tears.
We explained again. This time, he seemed to understand, and he shifted his focus to his next complaint. 
“Loose my hand!”
The nurses had tied down the hand with his IV to prevent him from ripping it out. 
“Loose my hand!”
A nurse explained to him that she will take off the restraint if he promises not to take out the IV. After some time, he agreed. While he had agreed to leave the IV in place, he had not agreed to remain calm.
“I can’t see! Loose my eyes! I want to see.”
I explained to him that the burns have shut his eyes. There is nothing on his eyes, but his face is very swollen, and that is why he cannot see. A nurse came to reiterate this in Pidgin. 
By now, the pain meds I had written were starting to take effect.
I sat next to him and attempted to redirect the conversation.
“I bet I know your favorite food,” I said.
“What is it?” he replied.
“Is it fufu corn and njama njama.”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“You are a Kom boy.  All Kom boys like fufu corn and njama njama. Do you play football?”
“Do you play better than me?”
“I’m sure you do.”
“Do you play 8, 9, or 10?”
“7,” he replied.
“You must be very fast. Do you believe in Jesus?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“Do you know what that means?”
He paused.
“It means you are my brother. We are family.”
“Yes,” he replied.
“What is your favorite Bible story?”
“John 1:10. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him.” 
“Would you like me to read John Chapter 1?” I asked.
I read the Chapter aloud, asking him questions from time to time to see if he had fallen asleep.
His Uncle looked at me. I can’t imagine that the man will live long, as he has horrific burns all over his body. Yet, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and mouthed, “Thank you.”
After this, I told the boy, “I have to go see some other sick kids now.”
“No, stay with me!”
“Would you like to listen to the Jesus Film in Kom on my phone while I see them?”
“Yes,” he said.  So I left my phone next to him while I saw the other kids in the ICU.  He fell asleep listening to the words of the One who was in the world. The One through Him the world was made. And the One that the world did not know, but whom this young boy knew well.

This story is shared with the permission of the family.  Please pray for Fabrice, Jude, and their family.  Thank you


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