Iron overdose / poisoning.

Thursday afternoon a two year old boy came into the hospital after having eaten “a package” of his mom’s iron pills.  It didn’t take long for me to realize what a grave emergency an iron overdose is for a young child (or for anyone for that manner). It seemed as if the young boy (from the information that his mom gave us) had taken as much as six times the lethal dose of iron for his body weight and size.  Wow.  The doctors felt that we needed to get him to a place that would have special medicine needed to counteract the effects of the iron overdose.  The decision was made to send him into to the hospital in La Ceiba via ambulance with the hopes that he would be able to receive the very important medicine – which we did not have.  Our hospital does not have an ambulance, so we call for the Red Cross Ambulance (about thirty minutes away) to transport patients in these cases.  We sent two nurses in the ambulance with him and I followed the ambulance in to La Ceiba in order to bring them back home.

 In a country full of crazy drivers and close calls,  this ride to La Ceiba will remain in my memory as the craziest ride ever.  It is simply a miracle of God that no one died because of the Red Cross Ambulance driver.  Sure in the US folks get over to the right when they see an ambulance coming (most of the time), but this place is not the US and drivers often don’t yield the right away to the ambulance.  This didn’t faze our driver.  As I followed him in and prayed for the safety of the two nurses (Penny and Joelle) I saw him take unimaginable risks – pulling directly out into oncoming traffic in order to pass cars in our lane.  At one point he literally drove an oncoming semi into the ditch in order to get around some cars.  Several times we were doing over 150 kph in busy two lane traffic and if you can believe it – in the middle of a very intense thunderstorm.  The ladies in the ambulance told me that his front window was completely fogged over from the rain and it didn’t seem like he could see anything.  I believe it!  
We arrived in La Ceiba safely (thank God) and took the boy into the ER.  A very capable sounding pediatrician met us right away and began to examine the patient and taking a report from Nurse Penny.  We were terribly disappointed when the doctor told us that the special medicine that we were hoping for couldn’t be found anywhere in Central America.   It seemed at the time that there was no hope for the boy.  
We now know that they boy did survive those first few days in the hospital and that he was sent home after about four days in the hospital.  We hope/pray/want to believe that this is a miraculous answer to prayer and that God chose to spare this young boy’s life.  We are still concerned about the possible long term effects of the poisoning and fear that he may not be out of the woods. And so we continue to pray for him – that God would indeed spare his life and heal him.  I’ll be sure to add more details later if we hear about them.