Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Providence

He that will watch Providence shall never want a Providence to watch.
John Flavel

Why would a medical student be drawn to read an obscure text on treating blast injuries rather than his set texts?

I read the following today in The Australian newspaper while on my lunch break:

"He might have been an intern but he knew more than a little about blast injuries thanks to an obscure World War I medical text he devoured while avoiding study. It saved lives from the moment he walked on to the ward at about 1am. He divided the number of patients up by an hour so he could see everybody within that time because people would deteriorate quickly." Read the whole story here while it is available. The reporter doesn't ask the question, but we might well ponder it.

PS
The "want" in the quote from Flavel is archaic for lack; i.e. "shall never lack a Providence to watch" (for my younger readers!).

7 comments:

churchmousec said...

Thank you, Pastor Mark, for a moving article. I am so pleased to read that the doctor is still alive. God provides in His own way and in His infinite wisdom. (No triteness intended; it is impossible to explain His many works.)

I also appreciate your reminding us of the horrors of the terror attack on Bali. It was awful waking up to that shocking news as seen on breakfast television. It is unimaginable to think what it must have been like for those receiving phone calls from emergency services and family members.

May God bless all the survivors and the families of those who lost their lives that day. Let us pray for those affected by similar atrocities around the world.

May the Lord guide us in His infinite mercy, as He did in leading the doctor to remember medical texts from the Great War (so called, IIRC, because of its atrocities).

As a postscript, I hope that you are feeling better. Prayers for your rapid recovery.

Churchmouse

Mark Henderson said...

I was really struck by the providential nature of the young doctor's studying the WWI text on treating blast victims given his later presence in Bali.
Thanks for your prayers, Churchmouse.
I am at about 85% fitness but back to pastoral work. I am looking forward to 8 weeks of long service leave early next year when I can have a good rest, Dv.

Lvka said...

Perhaps because there were a lot of blasts in the First World War...

Mark Henderson said...

Yes, Lucian, of course there were; but my point is why would a medical student discover and devour that particular text (and btw the study of blast injuries is not part of a medical student's normal studies; it is an area they might specialise in later) which would prove so crucial to his functioning in the extreme sitaution he found himself in in Bali?

Lvka said...

I doubt he "found" himself in that situation: perhaps the same inclination that lead him to read a book on 'blast-wounds in the First World War' also stirred him to aid blast-wounded individuals later on in life. And the fact that more severely-afflicted patients (such as, Idunno, those that have been in an explosion) need to be "rotated" on a more frequent pace or rate than those which are less afflicted seems to be a self-evident no-brainer, so.. I wouldn't really call it obscure.

Mark Henderson said...

I think the emergency treatment of blast victims (as also fire victims) is more complex than you think, Lucian. The medical intern would not had known about the need to apply the scalpel unless he had read the WWI text. Then, as you say, he "found" himself in a situation where exactly that knowledge was required. You call it coincidence if you like, I see providence - "not a sparrow...".

Lvka said...

I didn't say it was a coincidence. All I said was that the reason for both him reading the book and him pursuing that particular branch of medicine were due to his personal interest with the subject.