We came across a brilliantly written blog post recently by Kevin and Tasha Spann, a couple currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) serving with MAF! In this feature they shed light on recent incidents with two kids, Masha and Plamedie.
Thanks also to Mark and Kelly Hewes for the photos!
“Last week, Kevin was able to do a medevac flight. It was for a 12-year-old girl who had developed an infection on her left shin. Back in February, she noticed her leg had started to swell. Her family did what they could by treating her with indigenous medicine.
Unfortunately, the medicines could not help the infection, and made it appear worse than before. So Masha’s family took her to the local hospital in Kikongo. The hospital was now afraid to do anything because they feared the infection had spread into the bone.
She was in a lot of pain and was no longer able to walk. The hospital in Kikongo was not able to do much for her, so a local missionary family, the Chapmans, arranged an MAF flight to take her to another hospital.
Kevin flew the young girl and her mother out to the missionary hospital in Vanga where they were able to take x-rays of her leg (x-rays in the bush of Africa, how cool is that?!). The x-rays confirmed that the infection had indeed spread throughout the entire bone, which was now also broken in multiple places as a result of the weakness from the infection.
She was now at a high risk for losing her leg. The local missionary, Dr. Tim Rice, said they would try to do surgery that week on her leg to see if it could be saved.
Thankfully, Masha's surgery went well but she is still at a risk of losing her leg. Prospects are looking better for her but she is not out of the woods yet!
Two days after Masha’s predicament, MAF received another call for a 15 year old boy named Plamedie. He had been living with an open sore on his leg for 3 years!
However, he had been reasonably well looked after and wasn’t in as serious a condition as Masha.
He still required medical attention, so Kevin flew him and his father out to Vanga. Dr. Rice informed Plamedie that his x-rays looked good and that he expected him to make a full recovery without surgery.
Plamedie is now in his home village recovering quite well.”
One of the most eye-opening things about this, is the fact that the products used to clear these types of infections can be found in almost any local pharmacy!
However, small problems can become far bigger and threatening when living in really remote communities.
Perhaps you could pray for Masha and Plamedie. We’re thankful to God that Plamedie’s leg is likely to go back to normal but we’d love to see Masha’s leg heal well too!