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.
M3 would like to congratulate Kelly Sites for being honored by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) with the Nurse Hero Award. MNA presents this award to a Michigan registered nurse in recognition of their heroism.
M3 has been blessed to have had the privilege of Kelly speaking at our 2017 and 2018 conferences, and we celebrate her for receiving this well-deserved award.
To learn more about Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program, click here.
October is Fair Trade month! What is “Fair Trade?” Fair trade is a movement to support economic opportunities for marginalized communities through ethical, environmentally conscious, and sustainable production. When you buy Fair Trade, you know the hands who made what you purchase. You also know that your product was made in safe working conditions and the person was paid fairly.
We are excited to announce that once again, the M3 Conference will have a fair trade store! It will be hosted by HandUp Global Goods (HUGG) – they offer a ‘hand up’ for teens transitioning out of orphanages to eliminate a life of ‘handouts.’
HUGG lovingly empowers young men living in impoverished communities to transform their lives and the lives of those around them through a holistic development process. From providing a job, to spiritual development, financial literacy, and vocational training, HUGG equips these young men to become responsible workers, family members, and community leaders. The results extend beyond the individual men and transform families and communities. Click here to learn more about HandUp Global Goods.
Click here to register to attend the M3 Conference on February 22 and 23, 2019, and be sure to stop by the HUGG market place at the conference.
As Christians and as medical “missionaries” we are called to a higher standard. We are not just there to respect human dignity but to share the compassion, love, and mercy of Christ. We must ask ourselves: Are we engaging people in our medical ministry as Jesus would? Are our interactions with patients and staff glorifying Christ?
I know there are no simple answers for giving good care in mission hospitals or for being a good medical missionary, especially in settings that do clinical education. I also know that these environments can be extremely challenging and frustrating for professionals trained in the West. Finding people who are modeling best practices as “medical missionaries” and learning from them as a new missionary is crucial.
Prioritizing time for a personal devotional life, seeking out good mentors, keeping an attitude of continuously learning from our national colleagues, and sincerely loving them and those we serve are all great starting places. However, what will define our ministry is did we show Christ’s love, compassion, and respect for human dignity to our patients and to our national colleagues?