Dr. Tom posts from the field

Well I have never been accused of stealing someones toes while they slept till now. On Sunday I got called into the room with a man who was shot in his foot Saturday. Everyone knew the toes which had lost their blood flow needed to come off for they had developed gangrene. He was asleep with ketamine and I removed the 3rd-5th toes to keep him from loosing his foot leg and possibly life. On Monday when he noticed his toes being gone at the time of the dressing change he started a little uproar but me being blessed by not knowing much Dinka was oblivious to the going ons. By the next day all was better for his father realized that we did what needed to be done and all are my friends again. I am glad I did the right thing and we never gave the young man the chance to make the wrong decision.Word is if I was at the cattle camp and stole someone’s toes they would shoot you. I am know known as the crazy toe stealing kawaja(whiteman). Fame and notoriety that what I am all about.

We are all blessed because out of twenty gunshot wounds we only had one case of gangrene which we quickly took care of I believe the drains and debriement we did all day Sunday prevented a lot of gangrene. We had learned our lessons well on caring for those wounds . Most of all we are blessed by God who brings all healing. All week long we have been caring for the wounded and seeing our usual cases. The numbers have been down some because of less malaria with the dry season and I believe our aggressive treatment of malaria is knocking down the numbers. I remember 2 years ago we were seeing many seizing aspirating children with malaria at this time of the year. God is good.

We were visited by members of the UN several days ago Dennis tells me. They said they were evaluating the cattle wars and everyone in the area was saying how much In Deed and Truth workers helped in caring for the wounded. They came by to see our work and give us thanks. Made me feel good. Though we do not do this for the thanks we all I hope work to bring God glory because it is His hand that brings all healing.

Another friend of mine from Canada named Ed came by this week. His group puts in bore hole wells for free. They are looking at the possibility of placing bore hole wells with solar powered pumps to bring water for cattle in areas where there is grass during the dry season and no water. It would be done for the Tonj and Cuiebet tribes so they could stay home more and there would be less chance of fighting.That would be nice.

Speaking of gangrene on Thursday a teenage boy was brought in he had an infection of his chest that started one month earlier at his clavicular area . One week ago he was taken to the village surgeon ( witch doctor, traditional healer) and he received a cut . When he got to us you could smell the gangrene from a long way off and I was fearful that one of the gunshot wounds had went bad. I saw the boy and his whole chest was covered with pus and dead skin. The community health worker asked me if he was going to die and I said I do not think so but I do not know where we will get skin to cover the muscle. I removed on Thursday and Friday most of the skin and subcutaneous tissue down to muscle on his chest for it was all dead and infected. We have him on antibiotics and after we get the infection under control we will try to figure out how to cover the chest wall. Mike Stick, any suggestions? Pray for that young man .

Today I preached on Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” A lesson we must live by daily here. We also lead the singing – Dennis, Pritty and Sham my fellow workers and Robert a friend. We have lots of fun practicing on Saturday nights and we have fun leading the singing. It is a great motivation for the congregation to sing loud when I help lead the singing. I taught the Dinkas the word yee haw today. Love, Tom