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Real LifeOn the 2nd day of WMP's clinic in a remote village in Ghana, the clinic was suddenly devoid of patients. I think it was the silence that made me look up. In that doorway was a frail, malnourished skeleton of a man, sitting on the floor in the doorway. His eyes, dulled by malnutrition, seemed more resigned than desperate, as though he was expecting again to be driven away. His clothing was threadbare & filthy, and he couldn't have carried more than 85 pounds on his emaciated frame. You could see that both of his feet, part of his nose, and some of his fingers were missing. He had terrible open wounds on the stumps that once held his feet. Even at 1st glance, it was clearly leprosy, that unspeakable, but treatable, disease.
In all of my years of service, I had never once cried in front of a patient, but it was hard to stay composed when he crawled around on the floor, refusing to sit in a chair - only asking that he get a cup of lukewarm water to stave off his thirst from crawling for 2 km to reach the WMP clinic. His name was Patrick, and after we treated his wounds, he was given clean clothes, food, and a trip to the hospital where WMP paid for his treatment of antibiotics. That afternoon the WMP team was unable to eat their lunch & some of us gave ourselves over to tears. To see such human suffering changes how you see yourself, your world, and your place in it.
The following year Patrick was unrecognizable as the healthy man who slowly but proudly walked in custom-made orthotic shoes from WMP. For a mere $50 - not even the cost of 2 music CD's - WMP was able to bring healing from this detestable & contagious disease.
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