Can you support CaringBridge during our Holiday giving campaign? Generous donors like you ensure that CaringBridge remains ad-free, private and protected.
Carter Layne Swarey
Jul 5, 2017 Latest post:
Nov 16, 2018
Hi to all our dear supporters... Here's a brief, hopefully not too gory account of the happening in Togo, West Africa on July 4, 2017. Tuesday morning around 9, DaVern was just ready to leave for Doctrine class and called the boys for a little "pep talk" :) They were standing around under a tree and Carter picked up a piece of rebar that was laying close by and used it as a prop to sit against, or something. After that, no one's sure what happened if he lost the balance he had or what, but suddenly he was moaning and grabbed the thing and yanked it out. DaVern grabbed him as he started to feel faint and Carter was moaning "I don't want to die"... By the time they got to the house and onto a bed, DaVern was white as a sheet and had to go lay down somewhere else. We tried to assess the damage and just couldn't see much other than a hole, but he was moaning and groaning with terrible pain in his stomach. DaVern called a doctor at Tsiko and they advised to bring him in because of infection. The three hour trip was pure torture! Rough doesn't come close to describing the roads, and Carter moaned and cried the whole way, and nearly passed out. We pulled up at the hospital at 12:15- and the doctors all usually quit for a lunch break, but we went straight to the main nursing station and found Dr. Ebersole. He is an American doctor, maybe in his 60's that has been here for many years. He took one look at Carter and said "He's passing out on us!" He quickly helped get him onto a bed, and within minutes there was 5 white doctors around him. We are so lucky there was a good team here this week. Sometimes they are understaffed. Within 10 minutes he had 2 IV lines in and an ultrasound happening, then bloodwork and xrays, monitors attached, and a tetanus shot for a booster. They had the IVs in before realizing his shirt needed to come off so he sacrificed a new shirt for the cause! Before taking him for surgery the head surgeon asked if he could have a prayer, so the team gathered around Carter's bed with us and he prayed a heart touching prayer for God's guidance and wisdom. "Father, you knew when they awoke this morning that this would happen and their plans for the day would be changed. Help them to relax in knowing you are in control..." He also asked about our work, and then said that for now Carter was our mission post. Within an hour they had taken him back for exploratory surgery and to clean the wound. They told us to expect a 2 hour surgery, so we went to find a guestroom to try to calm our quaking hearts and shattered nerves. Two hours later we were back at the hospital, but no sign of him yet. Dr. Ebersole and one of the surgeons came out to talk to us. They told us to rejoice that his life had been spared!!! The rebar went in 12"! (skip this sentence if you have a queasy stomach).. in and out of the rectum, pushed the bowel aside and just knicked it, then entered the abdominal cavity, made a hole in a large intestine and nearly pierced the stomach. It So narrowly- in millimeters- missed two main arteries. They said he would have been gone in minutes if it had hit. Praise the Good Lord!!! So the surgery was 4 hours long to get it all sewed up. We were on our way to join him again when we saw Craig and Joanna walking up. The dam just broke then and the flood of tears came...(they were flying out the next morning so we hadn't even thought of it that they might come- I don't know when I've seen more beautiful people!!) It took a couple hours til he regained consciousness, and then he was in so much pain with so many tubes that we were relieved when he slept again. His fever spiked to almost 105 (remember no AC and just one little fan on the wall above him that didn't reach him). He's got 3 different drainage sites including one for his bowels that will need to be emptied daily. :( Then 6-7 weeks later another surgery to hook him back up again. Keith and Jeanette kindly drove the many hours to bring the rest of our family and also stayed for a while. Now he is stable and the Docs say everything looks good. But we are not out of danger yet!! It's possible infection could set in yet and he also made the comment that this surgery is riskier then open heart surgery!! So keep praying please. DaVerns