Gil has been in Zambia since April 5, 2010. She and the OMNI team have been busy with setting up and then taking down their clinic operation in the Zambian bush. Gil was hoping to be able to continue to blog but Zambia is a third world country with poverty, little water, little food, and limited electricity. The lack of modern technology makes blog transmission near impossible.
Gil has called me three times since arriving in Zambia and each phone conversation lasts about 60 seconds. She has been able to get lost in her work and have a bit of insulation from the protest and the stress of having a murdered daughter.
Gil wanted me to post her experience in the bush from this past Friday. During the OMNI clinic, a young mother came with her sick female child asking for help. The child was very ill with fever and dehydration from malaria. Malaria is endemic to Zambia and is one of the major killers in the population. Quickly, the severity of the child’s illness was recognized and Gil was asked to take the mother and child to a distant hospital on the only transportation available, a local bus.
The trip was complicated by the fact that the mother did not speak English and Gil did not speak Bemba, the local native language, the bus driver spoke a little French and Gil was able to communicate with him by speaking French. During the trip, the child became more ills and stopped breathing. Gil was screaming in French to the driver to hurry, hurry! Gil revived the child and ultimately they arrived at the hospital with the child still clinging to life. The child died the next day.
Gil, crying as she tells me this story, said her trip to Zambia were a way to save other children when she could not save Morgan; but she found that she couldn’t save this little girl. Gil sees the fragility of life in every face she see and all the work she does.
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