A Mother's Cry For Help
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
I remember the day like it was yesterday. What I thought was going to be an ordinary day turned out to be one of the most extraordinary days of our trip. We were in Ethiopia in the summer of 2017 doing our medical clinic in the town of Jeldu. I left the team for about an hour to go buy some food to feed the children of the community and upon my return to our site was when I was introduced to one of the greatest encounters that we’ve faced overseas. As I approached our site, members of my medical team cried out to me to come meet this mother that was crying for help for her only son. I saw the mother but at first I didn’t see the son because he was draped over with the white Ethiopian blanket. He used that blanket to cover this entire head and face because he did not want to be seen in public. When seen in public without the blanket, some ran, moved out of the way, covered their noses because they thought he was a leper.
I reached out to touch him but my team felt that I better put some gloves on first. I must admit that when I first lifted the blanket that the sight was not pleasant but I knew that we had to do something. We were not equipped to help him on site but I decided to once again leave the team and take him to the local hospital. To make a long story short, the local hospital was overcrowded and even though we paid for a bed and came back the next day, we were not seen. It was there on the grounds that somebody suggested another private hospital but they said it is too expensive. At this point, cost was not going to be a factor, my goal was to help this mother and her son. The private hospital ended up being a private dermatologist. I’ll never forget the words that he spoke to me the second he uncovered Boja and looked at his face. He said with confidence: Mr. Succes, this is an untreated fungus that has spread and with the proper care and medication, I can get him back to good health.” Boja didn’t smile because it was too painful but his mom and I did the smiling for him. Those words from the doctor changed our lives forever. We were scheduled to leave Ethiopian in the next 3 days so I purchased the needed medications and left sufficient funds behind for Boja and his mother to continue to go see the doctor.
Well, you can look at the after photos and understand the end of this incredible story. It’s amazing how difficult life can be when you lack some basic needs like fungus treatment.
Boja is now back in school after years of staying home because of the fungus and his mom is forever grateful for the kindness of strangers that she met on the summer of 2017.
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