Jasper's Procedure on
Sometimes life can turn out to be very different than what you expected! For mama Gladys, her life took an unexpected turn when baby Jasper was born. Gladys and her husband are subsistence farmers, and they have a two year old daughter at home. Whe… Read more
Sometimes life can turn out to be very different than what you expected! For mama Gladys, her life took an unexpected turn when baby Jasper was born. Gladys and her husband are subsistence farmers, and they have a two year old daughter at home. When Jasper arrived, the doctors noticed a mass on his lower back (a myelomeningocele), and referred them to CURE Uganda.
A myelomeningocele is a type of birth defect that caused Jasper's backbone and spinal cord to not develop correctly. A small sac protrudes through an opening in the spine, and this sac can contain parts of the spinal cord and nerves. Depending on where this problem is located, there will be nerve damage below that part of the back, which leads to different symptoms. This birth defect occurs during the third week of pregnancy, and we know that folic acid can help prevent it. In many countries, the government requires that folic acid is added to many foods, like bread, pasta and breakfast cereal! Unfortunately that hasn't happened yet in Uganda, so that's one reason why we see many of these issues here.
When Jasper and Gladys arrived here at CURE, he was just 4 days old! While we know that having a newborn baby with a serious condition is scary, and surprising, we also know that God was not surprised. We know God loves Jasper and Gladys, and is looking out for them. As Joni Erickson Tada says: "Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans"!
We are praying that Jasper and Gladys would know how much God loves them while they're here with us at CURE Uganda. Thank you for being part of their healing journey!
Jasper has developed a bit of a fever. The lab scientists did some tests and discovered he's fighting an infection and has low hemoglobin. The medical team prescribed antibiotics and a blood transfusion which should help him feel a lot better! He was a bit upset while Nurse Elizabeth set up the transfusion but comforted himself by sucking his thumb - what a sweet little guy!
Sometimes taking medicine is just no fun! Jasper wasn't too thrilled about it, but he calmed down right after this photo was taken and was back to his sweet and smiling self. He and Gladys have moved back to the main ward, and he's recovering from his surgery. Thank you for praying for him as he heals.
Jasper had surgery today! He underwent an ETV/CPC operation. The neurosurgeons, using a flexible scope with a camera on it, created a small hole in part of his brain to allow his cerebrospinal fluid to flow more freely. They also cauterized a tiny part of his brain that has been producing a bit too much fluid. The combination of these two steps should help everything balance out and reduce the pressure on his brain! It's a pretty incredible operation, and the CURE Uganda neurosurgeons are some of the best in the world at this particular technique. In fact, they also train other neurosurgeons in how to do it! We're so thankful that Jasper was able to receive the surgery he needs today. He's recovering now in the ICU, and Gladys is close by to watch over him.
Jasper had a pretty quiet and sleepy morning. When he woke up, he was all smiling. He and Gladys are planning to attend worship on the ward, and are just cuddling and resting today. Thank you for continuing to pray for this little guy while he waits for surgery!
Thank you for all the lovely get-well messages for little Jasper! This morning, he was snuggled up sleeping next to Gladys and looking cozy. They're staying in the main ward as they continue to wait for a surgery spot to open up. Even though Jasper is in waiting mode, he still has lots to do! He has meals with the other families, morning rounds from the doctors, and morning visits from the CURE Uganda's spiritual team. Each afternoon, there's a time of worship and teaching Gladys and Jasper can attend in the ward. We reminded Gladys that friends from all over the world are praying for them, and she asked that we would continue to pray for Jasper's healing!
Morning rounds at CURE Uganda can get pretty crowded! Every morning, the neurosurgeons, medical officers, clinical officers, some of the nurses, social workers and the physical therapist check on each patient. It's a routine that helps ensure each child gets the best possible care! Today, neurosurgeon Dr. Emmanuel led rounds and checked on little Jasper. He's doing ok and continuing to wait for a surgery date. We'll be sure to keep you posted!
Today, Gladys and Jasper have moved up to the main ward and are continuing to wait for his surgery. The CURE Uganda nurses and doctors are making sure that he's doing well and will be ready for surgery once it's his turn. For now, he's just getting lots of time resting and cuddling with his mom!
Jasper was having a relaxing morning today! He was cuddled up on mama Gladys's back while she chatted and visited with some friends. They are staying in the patient hostel while they wait for Jasper's surgery. Based on his head size and CT scan, the CURE Uganda doctors were able to confirm that he does have secondary hydrocephalus, and he does need another surgery. Hopefully, he'll be able to have that surgery later this week!
Jasper is back at CURE Uganda! We almost didn't recognize him, because he's definitely gained weight! He looks so cute. Although he seemed a bit nervous about getting his blood taken, he handled it like a pro. The doctors are a bit concerned that he may have developed secondary hydrocephalus, which can happen for children who have spina bifida. They did a CT scan and some blood work and should have the results soon. Thankfully, Jasper and mama Gladys are used to CURE Uganda, and they feel comfortable and welcomed back. Thank you for praying for them!
Jasper and mama Gladys got some good news from Dr. Emmanuel this morning! He let them know that they can head home today! Dr. Emmanuel just wants Jasper to get another CT scan and head circumference measurement to be sure that everything is a-ok, and then they'll be cleared to go. Thank you for all your prayers and get well messages for Jasper - we know that God hears our prayers! We'll see Jasper again in a few weeks for his checkup, and are excited to see how much he'll have grown by then!
Jasper was feeling a lot more awake this morning! We can tell his antibiotics are working! He has 3 days left of antibiotic treatment, so hopefully he and mama Gladys will be able to head home soon. It's amazing how many people are involved in helping a tiny baby recover, so we're thankful for his family, nurses, doctors, surgeons, lab techs, and all of you for helping this little guy get better!
Sometimes taking a nap is an important part of the healing process! When we caught up with baby Jasper today, he was dozing in the sunbeams streaming in from the window and looking very cosy! He and mama Gladys are counting down the days until his antibiotics are all finished and they're able to return home, but for now we're glad they're both able to get lots of rest. Thank you for all the prayers and the beautiful get-well messages you have sent for Jasper and Gladys!
“I am really worried about my two-year-old daughter Immaculate whom I left at home with my husband, but I have to stay until jasper finishes his treatment”, Gladys said. When we met her this morning, she said that she wants to go home, but the doctors told her that Jasper still has six days left of his antibiotics regiment. She however told us that she has noticed a significant improvement in his health. He is feeding well and isn’t irritable. Please keep praying for Jasper and his mother.
Jasper's surgery was successful! CURE neurosurgeon Dr. Emmanuel, assisted by Dr. Micheal, repaired his myelomeningocele on Friday. At CURE, the OR team always prays for our patients before they make the first incision - it's a special moment in the operating room. Jasper spent some time recovering in our ICU, and he's now back on the main ward with mama Gladys, and doing well! He'll be on antibiotics for the next several days, so we'll get lots more pictures with this cute little guy. Thank you for your prayers and get-well messages for him!
Jasper is heading into surgery today! The CURE neurosurgeons are planning to repair the myelomeningocele on his back. It's a big surgery for a small baby, but our neurosurgeons perform this operation almost every day, and are incredibly skilled. We're really thankful for them! We talked with mama Gladys and asked her how we can be praying - she said she's not worried about the surgery but is pretty overwhelmed by the challenges of caring for a child with a disability. This is totally understandable! Would you pray for strength and courage for her today?
Jasper was wide awake when we stopped by to visit this morning! This has been an especially busy week for the hospital, so we have a longer waiting list for surgery than usual, but Gladys is making friends with the other mamas at CURE Uganda while they wait. Jasper is doing well, and the doctors told Gladys that he may have his surgery as early as tomorrow!
Jasper and mama Gladys are settling into life here at CURE Uganda! They're making friends in their section of the ward, as they wait for Jasper's surgery date to be set. Nurse Frieda checked on Jasper and took his temperature just before the start of afternoon worship on the ward. Jasper is just 6 days old today, and has been through a lot already, so we're glad he and mama Gladys have some time to rest and catch their breath before surgery! Thank you for praying for them today!
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