Esther's Procedure on
Tiny Baby Esther shares a name with a beautiful, wise and powerful queen! When we talked with her mom Josephine, she didn't know all the details of Queen Esther's story, but we know our spiritual team will be glad to share the story with her. This … Read more
Tiny Baby Esther shares a name with a beautiful, wise and powerful queen! When we talked with her mom Josephine, she didn't know all the details of Queen Esther's story, but we know our spiritual team will be glad to share the story with her. This little Esther was born about an hour away from CURE Uganda, and she has a myelomeningocele, which is a type of spina bifida. The workers at the NGO clinic where she was born sent her and Josephine to us right away and we're glad she was able to come so quickly. Josephine was concerned when she realized Esther has spina bifida, but she and her family are born-again Christians, and she's praying that she'll be ok. Esther is the 4th born child of their family, and both her parents are working as farmers. Her father previously was working as a security officer, but unfortunately he lost his job last fall. We talked with Josephine about her dreams for baby Esther and she said she's praying that she'll become a teacher or a healthcare worker when she grows up. We're excited to see what God's great plans and purposes are for Esther!
Esther and Josephine have headed home! They were discharged over the weekend, as Esther continued to recover well after her surgery. We're looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks for Esther's review appointment. Thank you for all the lovely get-well messages for this sweet little girl and all the prayers for her and her family!
After spending a night in the ICU, Esther was all smiles this morning! She and Josephine will move to the main ward and they should be able to head home fairly soon. It's so encouraging to see how well Esther is doing after her surgery. Thank you for praying for her and her family!
Esther had surgery today! Neurosurgeon Dr. Oketch, assisted by the OR team, placed a shunt that will drain her cerebrospinal fluid from her brain down to the area around her stomach. This should be very effective in treating her hydrocephalus and will hopefully help her feel a lot better! After recovering in the post-anesthesia care unit, Esther is now resting in the ICU, with mama Josephine right near by. Thank you for praying for her as she continues to heal!
Thank you for all the wonderful get-well messages for Esther and Josephine! We're excited to deliver them this afternoon and know they will be such a big blessing! Josephine has been so kind to the other moms at CURE Uganda - she was chatting with Jackline, who is the mom to Miracle (also a CUREkid!) this morning. Later, another mom on the ward got sick and Josephine was there to help the nurse take care of her. Doesn't it encourage you to see people being kind and loving? We're so encouraged by Josephine's example of loving kindness.
Josephine and Esther had a happy day together as they waited for Esther's surgery. Today Esther had another CSF 'tap', which is where the doctors remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by inserting a syringe into her fontanelle. In adults, to remove the CSF, you would have to do a spinal tap, but because babies' fontanelle's are not closed, it's much easier to tap that way. This decreased some of the pressure on Esther's brain to help her feel a lot better. This afternoon she and Josephine enjoyed the sunshine together outside!
This morning Esther was making us laugh! It's such a treat to see her sweet and sassy personality! She was enjoying hanging out together with Josephine while they waited for the doctors to come by on their morning rounds. They're continuing to wait for her next surgery, which should be sometime this week, and Esther is feeling pretty well. Thank you for all the beautiful get-well messages; since Josephine speaks English, she's able to read them directly and we know they'll be such a big encouragement to her!
Esther is feeling so much better today! Yesterday she had a 'tap' which is when the doctors remove a small amount of her cerebrospinal fluid. This helped relieve some of the pressure on her brain, and she was all smiles this morning! She will probably get surgery early next week. We talked with her mom, Josephine, and she let us know that the other children are doing well at home, and are going to school. We encouraged Josephine that people all over the world are praying for her and Esther and their family!
Josephine has been feeling concerned about Esther's head size increasing, so she brought her back to CURE Uganda today. She is such a great mom! Clinical officer Stewart measured her head and agreed that it is getting larger, and Esther likely will need another surgery. It's so good that Josephine brought her back quickly, and thankfully our neurosurgeons are skilled in providing the care she needs. Esther and Josephine attended afternoon worship on the ward together, and will wait to hear from the medical team about surgery plans.
Esther and Josephine have headed home! Esther has been recovering well, and she was discharged by the medical team this morning. We'll see them again for Esther's review in a couple of weeks. Please pray for safe travels for them, and that Esther's cerebrospinal fluid would continue to flow well!
Yesterday Esther had her surgery! Neurosurgeon Dr. Wegoye was able to make some small adjustments within her brain that should help her cerebrospinal fluid flow better. After spending the night in the ICU, she and Josephine have moved back to the main ward today and are both doing well. Josephine is happy with how the surgery went and Esther is catching up on her sleep as she recovers!
Esther is scheduled for surgery today! She and Josephine had a quiet weekend, and attended morning chapel with the CURE Uganda staff today. It was a great time of worship - singing, dancing, clapping and jumping! Neurosurgeon Dr. Emmanuel will perform Esther's surgery this afternoon. Thank you for praying for her and her family!
Esther is having a pretty quiet day today, but yesterday she had a special surprise - her big brother came to visit! He is 13 years old and since Ugandan schoolchildren are on their school holidays, he was able to take the bus to come and see her. What a very sweet big brother! He and Josephine and Esther enjoyed spending time together, and he even attended afternoon worship on the ward with them. Such a special encouragement. Esther is scheduled for surgery on Monday, so has just a couple more days to wait!
Esther is feeling much better today! After yesterday's CSF tap relieved some of the pressure on her brain, she was much more smiley this morning. We delivered your lovely get-well messages to Josephine and she was very glad to read all the special notes and prayers - thank you so much!
This afternoon we found Josephine putting Esther's special braces on! She is doing such an amazing job taking care of her beloved daughter. The braces are part of the treatment for Esther's feet, and will help keep her feet in the correct position as she grows - they don't hurt and she just has to wear them at night while she sleeps. Earlier today she was feeling a bit irritable because she had too much CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) pushing on her brain, which can be painful! Thankfully the CURE Uganda doctors were able to remove some with a little tap procedure and she is feeling much better. She hopefully will have her surgery later this week!
Josephine and Esther had a pretty quiet day on the ward today as they wait for Esther's surgery. Esther is feeling well overall, and hopefully will have surgery later this week. Josephine has two other children at home, so is eager to get back to the rest of the family! Thank you for sending get-well messages for Esther and for continuing to pray for her.
Esther seems to be feeling a lot better today! She is more awake and alert. She and Josephine have moved from the patient hostel to the main ward. The nurses are keeping an eye on Esther as she waits for surgery, which hopefully will be this week. Josephine did some laundry after lunch today, and will attend worship on the ward with the other moms and babies this afternoon!
Esther and mama Josephine are back at CURE Uganda a few days earlier than expected! After receiving a small CSF tap on her head a few days ago, Esther started leaking fluid through the small hole left by the needle, so Josephine brought her right back to CURE. She is such a great mother and is doing a fantastic job taking care of Esther. The doctors bandaged up her head, and they expect that Esther will get her surgery early next week to treat her hydrocephalus again. Thank you for praying for Esther and Josephine as they wait!
Esther and Josephine have headed home, but they'll be back at CURE Uganda next week. Dr. Noah explained that Esther will need another surgery to re-open up a pathway for her cerebrospinal fluid to flow freely. Thank you for praying for them while they wait to come back and prepare for her next surgery.
Little Esther hasn't been feeling too well lately, so Josephine brought her back to see the CURE Uganda doctors today. Because they're concerned her cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be blocked again, they ordered a CT scan and a tap of her CSF. Outpatient nurse Richard said that Josephine is such a great mom, and does such a good job of caring for Esther. The doctors will review the test results, and make a plan this afternoon. Last time we saw Esther she had her feet in casts to treat her clubfeet, and Josephine was thrilled to show us that her treatment is complete! As part of the Ponseti method treatment for clubfoot, Esther will wear special braces on her feet at night, but she's all done with casting!
"It's a miracle!" Josephine said with a smile. She brought Esther back for her checkup today, and was excited to share how well Esther is doing! She's 6 months old now and is smiling and even sitting up by herself! Because she also has club feet, she's been getting her feet cast in the Ponseti method at a local hospital. This is a fantastic system that, through a series of casts, slowly helps move a baby's feet back into the correct position. Thankfully, there are several hospitals and clinics in Uganda that provide this service, and we so appreciate the great work they do! Josephine is really thankful to God and thankful for people who have been praying for little Esther. We can all rejoice together!
“Esther is stable, so we are sending are home today”, Dr. Michael said. Josephine told us that she is excited because she will be heading home to see her other children. We thank God for this development!
Baby Esther spent a night calm in the ICU with her mom by her side. Baby Esther has a cough but apart from that she is doing well, she is feeding well. Mama Josephine and baby Esther have been transferred in the ward this morning. Thank you all for your prayer and please keep praying for baby Esther’s recovery
This morning baby Esther was the first to head into our OR where she had an ETV/CPC surgery. The doctors made a small hole in Esther's brain which will allow the excess fluid to properly drain out, removing the danger of hydrocephalus! The surgery was successful, and she is now in PACU. Her mother Josephine told us that she is praying for Esther and can’t wait to see her when she gets out of OR. Josephine has moved their stuff from the ward to ICU where her and Esther will spend the night. Please pray that she stabilizes fast!
Baby Esther has been having a rough time since we saw her last. Josephine noticed that Esther's head had started to increase in size. She also knew that hydrocephalus is a related condition to Esther's original spina bifida. Josephine made the right call to bring Esther back here to us at CURE Uganda. We were unfortunately able to confirm Josephine's fears that Esther does indeed have hydrocephalus. Esther has been admitted to the ward and is getting a CT scan from which our surgeons will make a plan for surgery. Please be praying for this pair.
Esther and her mom stopped by for a checkup today and it was great to see them! They are doing well and Esther had a good checkup with our doctors. Mama Josephine says Esther is breastfeeding well and we can tell she's getting bigger already! Thank you for all the lovely get-well messages you've sent and for your prayers for this family!
Mama Josephine was very happy this morning as she and Esther were able to go home today! Esther is recovering well from her surgery and our pharmacy sent her home with just some tylenol as that's all she needs. She will have her stitches out next week at a local health clinic and will be back to see us for a checkup in July. We know God's heart overflows with love for this baby and her mama and we're pretty crazy about her too! Thank you for praying for continued peace and safety as they travel home.
Baby Esther is recovering in the ICU this morning and mama Josephine is keeping a close eye on her. Nurse Martha was helping wean Esther off her oxygen this morning and her oxygen levels got a little low which really scared Josephine. It can be so hard to have your tiny baby surrounded by all these wires and machines! Esther should be breathing on her own pretty soon though. The doctors are going to keep her in the ICU for one more day and she should be able to go back to the main ward tomorrow. We're printing out all your beautiful get well messages and will give them to Josephine which should really encourage her today!
Esther had her surgery this afternoon to repair her myelomeningocele. CURE Uganda neurosurgeon Dr. Emmanuel Wegoye, assisted by visiting neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Boakye from Ghana, worked to repair this condition on her back. A myelomeningocele is the most severe type of spina bifida. In this condition, part of a baby's spinal cord doesn't form correctly and the spinal cord pushes through a gap in the skin and vertebrae. It's a serious condition and our neurosurgeons perform this operation to repair it almost every single day! Esther will recover in our PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) and then be transferred to the ICU where mama Josephine will be ready to welcome her.
Shhh! Baby Esther was ready for a nap after her mom gave her a bath and cuddled her in her soft pink blanket. Josephine and Esther are waiting for her surgery date to be scheduled so they are just enjoying resting on the ward for now. We talked with one of our clinicians Joshua this morning and he said Esther is doing well. In addition to spina bifida, she does have bilateral club feet, which means both of her feet are turned inwards. Once she's completed her time here with us at CURE Uganda, we may refer her to another hospital in Uganda that can help with her feet. This process usually involves a series of casts to help the baby's feet turn the correct way. She may have a long journey, but we know God is with her and her family!
Baby Esther was originally scheduled to have surgery today, but since it's the end of Ramadan, today is a public holiday in Uganda so surgeries had to be rescheduled. Esther hopefully will have her surgery later this week! But for now, she's very content cuddling with her mama and breastfeeding - she's a happy camper!
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