Friday, June 17, 2016
May 6, 2016
"Satan is trying to kill this man!" Don picked Sister Doe up at 5:00 a.m to go to the hospital to get Brother Doe onto the ambulance and over to the ferry by 8:00 a.m. Everything went as expected at the hospital. The traffic through Freetown was minimal because of the hour of the day so they made good time over to the ferry. Mustapha, true to his word, met them there and got the security people to open the VIP gate and he talked to the ferry manager and he agreed that they would be given tickets to get on board. A little while later, Don and Mustapha visited with the head of security for the President of Sierra Leone (size - think defensive tackle) and he agreed that they would get on the ferry and they would be put on last so they could be the first ones off. So everyone gets loaded and now it's Don's turn. He drives up, backs up to square himself with the ramps and then had to drive through water to get to the ramps and the ramps had a severe slant which when you got to the top you popped over the edge onto the deck. Can you see where this is going? Now, it is the ambulances turn. He did not square himself up to the ramp and he got the front of the ambulance on the ramp, one rear wheel was barely on the ramp and he dropped the other rear wheel into the ocean with a big clunk as the ambulance undercarriage hit the ramp tossing Brother Doe around like a wet rag. Without thinking about his patient, and only being concerned with getting the ambulance out of the ocean and onto the ferry he put it into 4-wheel drive, put it in reverse and gunned the motor which caused the ambulance to back off the ramp and the rear tire which was in the ocean caught the ramp extension and launched itself back out of the ocean and flung the whole vehicle back up on the concrete approach ramp. Brother Doe took another excruciating jolt. Then the ambulance driver squared up and got onto the ferry with another jolting pop over the edge of the ramp. 3/4 of the way across the bay, Sister Doe rolled down the window (she was in the front seat and Don was in the Back)and told Don the a/c quit. Brother Doe is in a neck brace and it gets very hot underneath it. Without the a/c he suffered. The a/c quit because of the wreck that happened at the ferry loading dock which caused a leak in the a/c system. It was 10:30 in the morning when the a/c stopped working and Brother Doe had to be in the ambulance until 4:15 that afternoon. He was in there during the heat of the day. Enduring was very difficult. They did park the ambulance under a tree and opened the doors. However, this is Africa and it does get HOT! They took turns fanning Brother Doe. Don went into the airport to see if he could get some a/c for him. He did have the help of one airport employee who took him from the lowest security guard and after 4 stops Don was now standing in front of the airport manager who tells him he cannot put Brother Doe into the VIP lounge because the President of the country has reserved it. A/C is not turned on in the Lungi international airport until flights are checking in. But, by that time the airport lobby is hotter than blazes and impossible to cool down. Besides, Brother Doe would have been surrounded by hundreds of people in a crowded lobby. So that was not an option. There is a whole story about someone coming to fix the a/c. But the a/c was too badly damaged. Don made contact with Kenya Airlines and they assured him that they would take care of all the details with immigration and customs and true to their word, they came for Sister Doe about 3:00 and when she came back, everything was taken care of. They just had to wait to get Brother Doe on the airplane. About 4:15 they came and whisk him off to the airplane, sister Doe went through customs and then joined her husband! He arrived in Ghana a couple of hours later and was met by an ambulance, an American doctor and a close personal friend of Brother Doe. Surgery is scheduled for Monday, May 9th. The general patient-care standard in Ghana approaches American Standards Brother Doe never lost his faith. He saw tender mercies (unexpected blessings from the Lord) and miracles all along the way. I do not personally know what they were, but he mentioned them multiple times to Don. He even gave his wife a blessing. President Clawson and Don were present for that. Sister Doe wept. His recovery and resumption of normal life is going to require more endurance than the past week. But I am confident that a man does not define his life by how he walks. He is defined by his brain and what is in his heart. And Brother Doe has a tender heart full of love for all human beings. He is a man that is truly loved by very many people. He is 36 years old.