Remembering "The Day"
April 24, 2015 started out like any other normal spring day. It was a little cloudy and there was a chance of rain. It had been raining off and on
and this was a little unusual since it's a little early for the monsoon; but hey, it was Saturday and everyone was in a good mood!
It was Business as Usual in the hospital:
The medical ward had 19 patients in the morning. Soon another arrived after being released from I.C.U. (Intensive Care Unit) and then another joined the ward, so the nurses were now taking care of 21.
One patient was still in I.C.U.
As usual, the maternity ward was full. Twelve mothers had recently given birth. Three were in labor and one was about to go into labor!
In our church, the divine service was just getting started. A visitor was going to speak and the congregation was eager to hear what he had to say.
Suddenly there was a shaking for just a second. Everyone only had time to look at one another with disbelief. Then the shaking started in earnest. No one needed to shout, "Earthquake!" but maybe everyone did, because all realized what was happening. How could this be? It was! Mothers grabbed their children and everyone rushed from the church. Those in the back got under chairs so as not to run across open space. The ground kept shaking and shaking. There was a loud rumbling sound. Those who looked at the mountains surrounding Banepa could see them undulating.
In the hospital, it was the same story. "GET OUT OF THE BUILDING!" Everyone who could run, helped someone who couldn't. Nurses and patients later told of running down the hallways and being bounced around from side to side. People were holding their own IV drips, or carrying someone who couldn't carry their own.
Everyone from the church and hospital ran to the back yard which was soon full of shaking people. Youth from the church helped bring patients outside and ran back in for mattresses. The catch phrase was, "Are you OK? Are you OK?" Strangers hugged each other. Bravery was seen on every front. Doctors and nurses stabilized patients and made sure their IV lines were in tact.
All the while aftershocks were undulating the earth under our feet.
(We're still having them, so please keep praying!)
It wasn't long before patients started arriving and soon a tent hospital was in operation.
Children came with gaping head wounds. A woman came with her whole heel cut off and hanging. Another had her entire ear cut by a brick. Fractures included ribs and backs. Every kind of traumatic injury was seen.
Most of you already know that we even had an outdoor I.C.U., seen on the left.
You also know that we had an outdoor C-section too!
(The one we have shown the picture of was the next day.)
The brave ambulance drivers who drove all day during the aftershocks
deserve some recognition. You men are amazing. Thank you.
The youth who helped tirelessly wherever needed took a small break after a few hours.
Some of the brave and busy nurses also took a moment to sit down for a few minutes.
During this awful day, there was a huge blessing to note. Because it was Saturday, children were with their parents! Thank you Lord. However, please pray for the many people who are still grieving and will always grieve for lost loved ones. Pray for the food distribution going on right now. Pray for everyone to have shelter before the monsoon starts.
Last but not least, and very importantly, thank you to everyone around the world who are sending prayers, love, and donations to help and comfort those in need. Blessings to you all!
Stay tuned for "The Second Day."