Sunday, April 28, 2013

TOP James

James is a 7 year old boy from Mubende Uganda.  The Due Unto Others medical team, from Duncan, Oklahoma, first met James while hosting a child health screening clinic in Mubende, in February 2012.  James was healthy and meeting health and educational milestones, at that time.  Unfortunately, a few days later, he was accidentally run over by a car, near his home.  In this horrible accident, he suffered a broken right femur and an injury to his left leg that required an amputation of the left leg, below the knee.  James was transferred to Wentz Medical Center in Gabba, Uganda.  Wentz was the home base for the Due Unto Others medical team, so they heard about James’ accident and were able to visit him on a regular basis.  James was required to remain flat on his back, with his right leg in traction for several weeks, before he had a large cast applied that went around his waist and then all the way down the right leg.  Through all of this 3 month hospital treatment, James kept a huge smile on his face. 

A local ministry came to fit him for a wheel chair and to counsel him about his new way of getting around.  The gentleman that came to counsel James came away saying that by the time their conversation was over, James was counseling him!  In previous blogs about James, it was said “I expect big things out of James.  He has a heart the size of the continent he lives on and a smile to match”.  It was also said of James, “He has spunk, resolve, charisma and a million dollar smile.  It would not surprise me if he is the president of Uganda someday”!


Through the generous giving of Christians, of various churches, to foreign missions, the Due Unto Others ministries was able to get James fitted for a prosthetic leg.  This would not have happened through government health care in Uganda.  Even more unique is that they were able to make him one that can adjust in length so that he can continue to use it as he grows.  This prosthetic leg is a life changing gift to James!  What a demonstration of God’s love!
We are looking forward to seeing James in about a month, when we return to Mubende.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

T.O.P. Jamil

Continuing our review of some of our special "That One Persons" in Uganda.
Jamil is a 10 year old boy from Palissa Uganda.  He had been written off by his family and it was assumed that his massive eye tumor would end in his death.  Jamil had a tumor behind his right eye that caused his eye to swell and severely bulge out of the socket.  He had lost his vision in that eye about 2 years before and, because of this problem, people in his village were scared of him because they thought that he was cursed. At 10 years old, and very smart, he had not been allowed to start school because of the problems this eye issue caused.  His parents had abandoned him, so he lived with his grandparents and uncle’s family.  Jamil had been seen by an ophthalmologist in September of 2011.  When it was found out that his surgery and care would cost $700 usd, the family felt that that could not come up with the money.  The family had lost much of their hope.  They did, however, continue to pray.



After hearing of Jamil in March, then getting to meet him in early April, the Due Unto Others medical team, from Duncan Oklahoma, felt God calling them to go above and beyond for Jamil, showing God’s love to Jamil and his family.  A repeat CT scan showed that his tumor had grown by 50% in 6 months.  After visiting the eye surgeon to schedule the surgery, the Due Unto Others team was stuck in traffic, with Jamil in the van.  A street preacher was excitedly telling those in traffic, in the Luganda language, about Jesus.  As he was fervently preaching and spit was flying everywhere, he suddenly stopped, turned, and looked straight at Jamil and pronounced for all to hear, in perfect English, that “God is going to heal that boy”!   

Through funding of generous Christian people, from many churches around Oklahoma, Jamil was able to have the operation to remove his tumor.  Our God did “Heal that Boy”!  The love shown to Jamil and his family made a ripple through the village.  After healing from his surgery, Jamil was allowed to start school.  Once shunned and considered an outcast that was sure to die, Jamil is now big man on campus, as God has shown him special attention, healing and mercy.  Again, through generous giving of caring Christians, Jamil has his school paid for.


One in five Ugandan children dies before there 5th birthday.  What if we could reach THAT one person?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

T.O.P. Tendo

As our 2013 trip to Uganda approaches, we have started to put together some short summaries of some of our "That One Persons" that we met last year.  We are preparing these summaries, to share with our church, to raise awareness of foreign missions.  I thought that I would share these with the blog as well. 

Tendo is a 7 year old girl that lives in Konge, Uganda. Three years ago, she was involved in an accident where she was run over by a car, on the way to school. Through this accident, she suffered a ruptured diaphragm and much of her abdominal contents herniated up into her chest, collapsing her lung. She was treated in the national referral hospital and survived. When Tendo was released from the hospital, she still had the collapsed lung and diaphragm hernia, as they were not repaired. Her family was told to return when they had 2.3 million shillings ($900 usd) to have the surgery to repair the diaphragm. Her parents tried to save the money while Tendo began to have more trouble with her breathing, trouble with her swallowing and trouble keeping up with her classmates. Her mom went to her local pastor and said that she did not know what they were going to do, the family had made no progress over 2 years trying to collect the money. Pastor Shalom said, “we serve a big God, we will keep praying for a miracle”. A couple of weeks later, a medical team from Duncan, OK showed up at Tendo’s school to do a medical clinic. That same“Big God” that directed their path to Konge, impressed on the heart of the team that they needed to do more for Tendo. After a trip to see the surgeon, it was found that the surgery could still be done. Through generous giving and prayers from people in Duncan Churches, Tendo was able to have her “miracle”surgery. 

She and her family are still praising their big God!

Tendo came in to Wentz Medical Center a few months ago and she is doing well.  She is just as "sassy" as ever.

It is truly a blessing when God answers your prayers.  It is even more of a blessing for God to allow you to be an answer to someone else's prayer.  Contact me at if you would like to give toward the medical clinics on our upcoming trip.

1 in 5 children in Uganda die before their 5th birthday.  What if we were able to help That One Person?


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Time to declare it dead.

As I have started to think about our upcoming trip to Uganda, several things have come to mind.  One of those things is a list of things that are different in Uganda than Oklahoma.  The list is quite lengthy, but one of the hardest things to wrap our brains around is being up close to death and dying.  When we were in Uganda in 2012, we were exposed to people who were quite ill.  Many times those people got well, like Pastor Paul, but some didn’t, like Joseph of Mytiana.  Now I have much experience with death and dying through my work in the ER, but for the rest of our family this was uncharted territory.  I have mentioned in a previous blog, I literally hate to have to tell a family that one of their loved ones has passed away.  I have been told by several nurses, pastors and families that I am good at communicating a death to a family.  Of all of the things that I would like to be good at, I am not sure that I want to be good at such a conversation.  Unfortunately, this conversation, and what to say to the family is not covered in medical school.  Because of this lack of teaching, many doctors don’t know what to do or how to say what needs to be said.  When I have exposure to medical students in the ER, I try to find time to pull them aside and teach them this “dying art”. 


Recently, while working with a student in Duncan’s ER, a lady, younger than I am, passed away.  I used that unfortunate situation to teach the medical student what one older doctor had taught me many years ago.  As the medical student was taking everything in, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down the lesson about this dreadful interaction with a patient family.  This seems like a strange place to take a blog, but this is what I told the whipper snapper:


1.)    Before you go talk to the family, make sure that you KNOW THE PATIENT’S NAME.  This seems obvious but it is quite uncomfortable if you go to talk to a family and say “hello, are you the family of ……..the dead guy”?

2.)    Ask the family for any information about what they know about what happened prior to the patient coming to the hospital.  Any information that can be helpful must be gathered now, as when the family knows the loved one is dead, they won’t be thinking clearly.

3.)    Tell the family what you know and what has been done.  Explain everything from when the ambulance picked up the patient through the time that they were in the ER.  Include any information that you need the family to hear.  After they hear that their loved one is dead, they shut out any more information.

4.)    Say in very clear terms, borderline bluntly, that the person is “dead”.  You can’t dance around it, or try to soften it up, because if you do, the family will likely have some confusion.  You can’t say that the patient “passed on” or “slipped away” or “we lost him”.  I usually say that “I declared him dead at (some specific time)”.


Again, I know that this is a morbid topic for a blog, but as I continued to think about our upcoming trip to Uganda, I thought through some things in my life that I needed to “declare dead at this specific time”!  Things like need for control, lack of faith, or my pride .  Yours could be jealousy, unforgiveness or a critical nature.


I think that to get rid of something that needs to die in our walk with Christ we need to follow a similar algorithm as the one I use when talking to grieving families.

1.)    You have to call the thing that needs to die by its name.  Let there be no confusion.

2.)    Consult with God, family and close friends to gather information.

3.)    Discuss with God and tell him what you know and what you plan to do.

4.)    Specifically declare that thing “dead”, accept God's forgiveness and commit to not pick it up again.


1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.   Name it, declare it dead, and He will purify you!

Just 5 weeks until we return to Uganda!  We are excited to reunite with our friends there and serve our God in the birth place of the Nile.