Wheelsblog: Kumi, Uganda 2020 -- 7th Feb
We've got a fantastic team working for Wheels for the World in Kumi, Uganda from the 4th to the 15th February. They'll be sending back updates as often as possible, and we're looking forward to sharing the trip, and the stories of lives changed through the gift of a wheelchair. Here's the team's report from Friday 7th--the first day of Wheelchair distribution, written by team member, Peter Bailey...
Group Blog - Day 1
As wonderfully as we felt we had bonded as a team, it was clear at breakfast and on the dusty, pothole weaving journey to Kumi Hospital on the first day that a touch of anxiety and uncertainty was playing on the minds of both seasoned helpers and first timers alike.
What lay ahead of us?
Would we be overwhelmed by the sheer scale or complexity of the need?
Would we work well together when it really mattered?
But there was no time to dwell on any of this. Already waiting for us at the hospital were our first patients - some of whom had been at the hospital complex for days having been misinformed as to the date of our arrival.
Illnesses long conquered in the west immediately presented themselves.
Cruel and inhuman ailments like leprosy and polio.
Many amputees, some crawling on hands and knees or carried to the waiting area touched us deeply. Numerous children with cerebral palsy, a child with HIV infected by her mother at birth...and other harrowing stories unfolded before us - too numerous to include here.
But one leprosy case had particularly touched us all - Okole who had contracted the disease as far back as 1973 who's wife had stayed by his side, and largely brought up their ten children, throughout significant stigma and community rejection. It was an outstanding testimony to God's teachings on love and marriage.
And then there was John. Eleven years old and severely stricken by cererbal palsy at birth.
Yet unforgettable for his infectious, ever present smile that lit up every part of his treatment and indeed all our hearts.
From registration to intense diagnosis by our wonderful physio and occupational therapists, to the technical support needed to deliver the right solution to all thirty eight patients we treated that day and to the interpreters, the vital 'bridge' in all our communications, and the many support staff who pitched in wherever there was need - it was truly a day to remember and a day when everyone could feel anointed as " A good and faithful servant."
What could Day 2 possibly bring us?