For my time here in the bush, I knew I would get to work one on one with different people of this community. Being a nurse, my visits aren’t usually because of something good. I never thought throughout my 6 months of being here that one man, with a broken leg, would still be on my “to see” list.
Manuel was hit by a car on April 20, 2014 and suffered a compound break in his one lower leg. The bone was broken in several places and it had even broken through the skin.
He was taken to hospital for xrays and a cast was put on. After several days, he was sent home. His recovery was far from uneventful though. And that is when the community brought his situation to our attention.
The six-week post-accident mark found us trying to fight a bad infection. We took him back to the hospital to open a window in the cast so we could get to the wound. When we discovered the state of the wound, he went once again to hospital for surgical cleaning of the wound. He came and went for appointments for months.
Long story short, with all the twists and turns in his recovery and care decisions, he ended up with his leg in a cast for an entire 6 months. At one point, a good 3 months into this, we took it upon ourselves to remove the one cast. We found what we feared–considerable pressure sores and muscle wasting in his leg. What he needed was surgery and metal plates and pins to repair his bones, but as we learned, neither a surgeon with the necessary skill nor these items had been available.
So we intensified our pursuit of Manuel’s wellness, and we prayed even more than we had before. We made calls and enquiries, and our friends and their connections made calls and enquiries. After several weeks, a few solutions began to take shape. One was for him to have surgery in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Then as more Mozambican health connections came on board there was the option of doing the surgery in-country in Maputo (a 2 day trip south). Then there was mention that surgery could be done in Beira just a 4 hour drive away. And then things got even better. We found out that just recently an orthopaedic surgeon had arrived right in Chimoio just 50 minutes drive away. We were over-joyed! In short order, the surgery was scheduled and carried out. That was last week.
There are, of course, costs as there are with all cases of extensive injury and physical down-time. For one, Manuel has not been able to work his land and plant crops needed in order to feed his family this coming year. And planting season is now upon us.
For another, there is the cost of his ongoing care itself including transportation, medicines, and follow up care that will continue for awhile yet. We do not know what the next few months hold for Manuel. Even with good healing of his bones, he will still need extensive physiotherapy to help restore as much flexibility and function as possible to his leg. But he will also need help in order to provide for his family adequately until he can return to his field work. He has lost much time and productivity already!
We rejoice in God’s faithfulness. As needs arose, some funds and assistance have come in to help us get Manuel to the next stage in his care. We invite you to consider partnering with us in this special need. Although we estimate the total cost of surgery and aftercare to cost around $3,500, this is so little when compared to losing his leg (the only other option)! We trust that Manuel will be “man-well” one day again soon, and along with his whole community, know that there is a God who knows and is concerned with our broken state.
By Jenn Sanders, Lynn Lagore & Health Team