Evacuation for pediatric care
(original article by Josh Wagner, from a private Facebook group)

The Wagner Family's photo.

An Air Ambulance is coming tomorrow [June 24, 2016] in the early afternoon to take Ruthie and my little Jojo to excellent care in South Africa. Josiah hasn’t really even gotten worse in the 24 hours at the hospital but he also hasn’t gotten much better, even after 51 hours on antibiotics. We are probably at the best facility in Sierra Leone but if he gets worse they would not have an ICU to care for him properly. The doctors agree that in caution they should move him while he is stable.

In so many ways Jojo is just his happy self…until he starts the coughing that happens every time he wakes up. There were about 6x today where he stopped breathing briefly. The best explanation is that this is a combination of the natural process of coughing, choking on the phlegm produced by the whooping cough, and then his body being tired. This is all expected for whooping cough but because he is so young his lungs are less developed and things can change more quickly for an infant in general.

Probably the best thing that happened today was that Dr. Bell taught us a technique that basically scares an infant out of apnea. It works so much better than pounding on his back. This is such a big relief because I was dreading every time he would wake up.

Pertussis is typically treated with antibiotic and supportive care. He is likely halfway through stage II which often lasts 1-2 weeks. It generally doesn’t get worse throughout the stage. They will probably keep him in the hospital until 24 hours after his last breathing problem. Stage III is recooperation which he can probably do back in Sierra Leone. I guess this means that they could be gone for a couple weeks?

Some have asked why not the UK. Unfortunately their system is public health care and it’s very difficult to be seen there. There are very fewer private hospitals there with the level of care that we need. On the other hand, the professionals say that the care in South Africa is fantastic and on par with London and New York. Others have confirmed to us that it really is world-class.

We entrust ourselves to God’s hand through all of these decisions and appreciate the blessing of good advisors. Thanks team for upholding us in prayer. And please don’t forget about Hannah and the boys in Makeni! I hope to get back there tomorrow.