We were so touched by this story by Michelle Turner, the Executive Director of The Addis Clinic, that we wanted to share it with you. The Addis Clinic is an M3 partner, and their mission is to partner with local organizations, empower frontline health workers, and bring healing to underserved areas through telemedicine.
Mrs. Turner writes:
On my recent trip to East Africa, I saw firsthand the impact our telemedicine has.
One story has stuck with me, and it comes from a small clinic in rural Migori County, Kenya. While touring the modest facility we met a little boy, Barasa*, and his mother. They had traveled to the clinic, their only option for medical care, because Barasa was experiencing extreme swelling in his right eye along with several other complications. This started 4 months ago, but by the time Barasa arrived at the clinic, he could not walk, sit up, or speak.
If a child arrived at a hospital in the US in this condition, he would immediately be admitted, and a team of specialists would be assigned to his treatment. Barasa, however, lives in an area where this isn’t possible. His care team consists of a dedicated clinical officer and nurse, armed with a tablet that links them to dozens of physician volunteers through The Addis Clinic.
Barasa’s case was assigned to a pediatrician and ENT within our volunteer network. Our pediatrician responded in a matter of minutes with recommendations, but the outlook was not good. Given the severity of Barasa’s symptoms, it would be difficult to manage such a severe case with very limited resources. The back and forth communication through our telemedicine technology continued throughout the week, and I continued to check up on his progress. Meeting patients in person forms a connection that we don’t often get. I have a 6-year-old son and seeing the pain Barasa was in and the hurt it caused his mother hit close to home. That could be my son, and that terrified mother could be me. It is hard for many of us to imagine what it is like to be unable to access lifesaving care for one of our children. After a fantastic job of implementing the guidance provided by our volunteer physicians, the clinical officer reported this week that Barasa was able to go home! The infection responded to the second round of antibiotics. Barasa will get to play for the rest of the summer and return to school. He may grow up to be a doctor, farmer, teacher, or president of Kenya.
Through God’s beautiful tapestry of the network of volunteer physicians and supporters of The Addis Clinic, Barasa’s life was saved! Thank you, Mrs. Turner, for sharing this story with us!
To learn more about The Addis Clinic and how you can get involved, click here.