Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Terry and I are completing our second year in Njinikom.  One of the best things about our experience to date has been our relationship with the Franciscan Sisters.  We truly treasure the sense of community we share with them as we work together trying to meet the needs of the poor and sick.  At the same time it reminds us what we miss the most.  Our family, friends and community at home.  Having internet in our home has allowed us to keep in regular contact with everyone back home.  We often remark how difficult it must have been for the Mission Doctors and their families who have served the prior 50 years before the advent of electronic communication.
It is time for Terry and I to recharge our batteries.  We will be home for the month of July on Holiday.  It will be wonderful to meet our new grandson, Andrew, and see the rest of our family.  This will be my last blog posting until late August.  Thank you for following our adventure and the support you have provided us.

Monday, June 18, 2012


40 year old Theresia from Elemighong did arrive at our hospital last week.  Dr Jim Unger saw her and ultrasound showed multiple fibroids in her extremely enlarged uterus.  Theresia had successful surgery with removal of her bowling ball sized uterus.  Theresia is doing very well and will be able to go home later this week.
Theresia’s surgery turned out to be a family affair for the Unger family.  Dr Jim was assisted by his daughter Marcia who recently finished her 2nd year of medical school at LSU.  Rose, Jim’s wife, was the circulating nurse during the operation.

The Unger Family

Monday, June 11, 2012


I saw 40 year old Godlove 2 weeks ago with a marked tremor, flat facies, difficulty rising from a chair and trouble initiating and stopping his gait.  It appeared he had Parkinson’s Disease despite his relative young age.  I started him on Sinnemet and Godlove came back yesterday with a huge smile on his face.  He initially sat down on the chair and immediately bolted to his feet with an even bigger smile.  He started bouncing around the room like a boxer warming up in the ring before a fight.  He was so excited about the improvement he had experienced from the medication he had to demonstrate his improved mobility.  Fortunately, a Pharmacist from Holland had just sent us the Sinnemet.  It was the first time we have had the medication in the 2 years that I have been here.

It was a real joy to share in Godlove’s Miracle. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


The Tertiary Sisters of St Frances operate 6 hospitals in Cameroon and another 30 Health Centers.  The Sisters have decided to provide more support from their Hospitals to nearby Health Centers which are staffed by nurses only.  Today, I traveled to Elemighong Health Center, about 15 miles from Njinikom further up in the mountains.  The clinic is staffed by 2 nurses who provide 24/7 coverage.  They have a 6 bed medical ward and a maternity ward where they average 7 deliveries a month.  The nurses themselves provide a few basic laboratory tests.  They had not had a Doctor visit their clinic in years.  I accompanied Sister Philippe today who conducts regular Prenatal and Vaccination Clinics in Elemighong.

While Sister Philippe saw 16 women in Prenatal Clinic I did medical consultations on a dozen patients.  I saw a 40 year old lady with a bowling ball sized pelvic tumor.  She had consulted 2 years ago about the tumor but had no money for the tests that were ordered so she never followed up.  She agreed to come to the Hospital Monday where Dr Jim Unger will see her and with donor money her needed surgery will be done.  I can not help but think it was Divine Intervention that had me in Elemighong today to arrange for this lady’s care.