Critically ill ADRA Cambodia employee, Ben Davis, reminder of humanitarian aid workers’ risks
On July 14 news came that Ben Davis, one of ADRA Cambodia’s dedicated employees and a longtime humanitarian was critically ill and had been transported by air ambulance to Bangkok, Thailand. Prayer requests went out over Facebook (www.facebook.com/adracanada) with an overwhelming response.
A day later we learned that Ben had multi-organ failure and pneumonia, caused by sepsis (a life threatening infection) with other complications. Because of Ben’s work in the remote villages of Preah Vihear, Cambodia, doctors were trying to identify what organism Ben had been exposed to that was causing his medical condition. Ben’s wife, Sharyn, and their two children joined him in Bangkok.
It was finally determined that Ben had contracted Rickettsia (scrub typhus). Fortunately for Ben, the doctors had been treating him with the appropriate antibiotics since his arrival. He was breathing through a ventilator (intubation), underwent dialysis and was receiving multiple medications to keep his vital signs stable. After a few days, Ben was diagnosed with a secondary, deadly bacterial infection. Prayers were fervent for God’s intervention in Ben’s condition.
Within a few days, there were signs that the antibiotics were working. Ben was finally alert, opening his eyes, looking around and shaking his head in answer to questions. Although he showed signs of improvement, the doctors remained very cautious.
As of July 22, Ben has dramatically improved. The ventilator tube has been removed. He requires less sedation and had begun to engage with his family and medical staff. His vital signs were stable. Though his lungs still showed problems, doctors said they will take time to heal. They soon removed the feeding tube and he was finally able to eat.
Ben has since moved out of the Intensive Care Unit to recover. Please continue to pray for Ben, and for all ADRA staff who dedicate their lives to helping those less fortunate. Ben has reminded us of just how fragile life is, and how dedication to alleviating suffering for those living in poverty can put humanitarian workers at great risk.
If you would like to be an ADRA Prayer Angel, interceding in prayer on behalf of ADRA projects, staff, and beneficiaries, send an email with the subject “Prayer Angel” to firstname.lastname@example.org. When we have urgent prayer needs, like the ones for Ben, we will send an email to you requesting your support through prayer.
Ben and Sharyn Davis are crucial members of the ADRA Cambodia team, working on the Securing Mothers’ and Infants’ Lives with Equity project (SMILE) in partnership with ADRA Canada, and with the funding support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)