Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Gift

While at the OPD this afternoon, there was a faint knock on the exam room door.  We opened it to find an old familiar face smiling at us.  It was Emmanuella who literally was our first patient when we arrived in 2010.  35 year old Emmanuella was in the hospital with HIV and Tuberculosis.  Her hospital course was complicated first by a blood clot in her leg and then a pulmonary embolus.  She nearly died only to recover and then sustain a worse insult.  She had a terrible stroke leaving her with complete paralysis of the right arm and leg and unable to speak.  Despite all these terrible things Emmanuella never lost her beautiful smile.  2 years ago at Christmas, we able to secure a wheelchair for her and she was able to go home for Christmas.

She eventually recovered enough to walk with the aid of a cane and can speak a few words.

Spending a few minutes with Emmanuella today was a wonderful Christmas gift for us.  Emmanuella’s determination and positive outlook is inspirational!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Earlier this year Sister Xaveria made one of those good hires.  Gertrude joined the Pharmacy Staff after finishing a 3 year Pharmacy Technician course.  She always has a big smile on her face and is always helpful when called on.  The Dispensary is running better now with Gertrude and her assistant Agnes than when there were 3 people staffing it.

Gertrude grew up in Buea, the capital of the South West Province.  After attending Catholic primary and secondary schools she attended University and got her degree in Business Management.    Gertrude used her education and became a successful business woman working for several companies.  She traveled to a number of West African Countries representing the different companies she worked for.  I am sure Gertrude’s people skills enabled her to be a success in a field where not many women have traveled.

Gertrude always had an interest in Health care which prompted her to leave the business world and obtain her Pharmacy Technician Degree.  Njinikom is a much smaller community than she is used to living in but she is enjoying it here.  Gertrude main hobby is reading, particularly spiritual genre.  She is active in the hospital choir.  She is very proud of her 19 year old son who is following his mothers pursuit of education.  He is currently at University in Yaoundé working on his Masters Degree in Food Processing Engineering.

Gertrude will always be one of those valued people in any organization she is in a friend to all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


32 year old Bridget arrived at the hospital last week complaining of fever, cough, diarrhea and weight loss.  She was extremely thin and weighed 99 pounds.  It was no surprise to us that her HIV test was positive as Bridget could have been this year’s poster child for Slim’s Disease.  She fortunately is getting better with antibiotics and her initial TB tests were negative.  It continues to amaze Terry and I how people endure their illnesses at home for such a long time before seeking medical care.