Sunday, June 20, 2010
Ellen was the very first patient I ever encountered at the Nkhoma Hospital. Clinicians did not know what do about her difficult and desperate case. I found her in the corner of a small room, with labored breathing, skeletal appearance, flies swarming her, and fear of having her gangrene wounds touched. Her problem was far gone, and I feared that she would not be able to survive her condition in such a late stage. It was evident that she needed both of her feet amputated to have any chance of surviving. We did perform the amputations and gradually started showing improvement. She was discharged, healed, but without the large portion of her feet. Her grandmother(gog-go)took her in and carried her on her back for the next 4 years until an American teacher heard of this child in the village.
With the help of an Nkhoma nurse, Marelise, and the teacher Ellen was donated prosthetic feet that have enabled her to begin walking again! Now that she is has her feet and she is no longer embarrassed of her disability she is now looking forward to attending the local primary school here in Nkhoma. She is a petite, beautiful girl with a contagious smile. An amazing success story and amazing this has all occurred since I have been here, unbelievable really!
In this picture she stands next to her caring Go-Go. When I asked the grandmother if she remembered me she said...'Jennifer!' I couldn't believe she remembered my name after all these years!