Conditions are difficult where Noeleen is at the moment as there has been no rain
and they have no power but as this is the rainy season the rain should come soon.
Work in the camp continues to be overwhelming and there is great need for medical
help for the refugees but assistance is not there to help them in this great time
of need. I have attached below the story of just one of the people I work with.
There are many people like William here. I hope you will remember them in your
thoughts and prayers.
One Morning Fr Emmanuel, the Parish Priest phoned me in a terrible state and asked
me to come immediately. He took me to a small mud hut house where inside was very
dark and no furniture of any kind. The neighbour's had alerted him that a small boy
was living inside alone and he was very sick and there was no one left to care for
him as his Grandmother had died. On entering the house, I couldn't see anything but
could here a small voice say hello. In the corner I found a small boy, nothing was
recognizable except his face. His body was covered from head to toe by only what
I can describe as mold. His legs tangled and sown together by years of remaining
in the one position. Indeed the only part of his body that physically remained intact
was his one little hand. His name was William, I said hello William, my name is Noeleen
and I've come to take you to a doctor. Ok he replied and smiled. We tried to get
him into the vehicle with great difficulty, his body so fragile we were almost afraid
to touch him incase we would hurt him. The road to the hospital was rough and with
many potholes, I'm sure William felt every crack in the road as there was no flesh
left on his tiny fragile body to protect him. We eventually reached and I ran to
the doctor to please come and help us get him from the vehicle, there was about 300
people at the health Centre that day, all of whom stared in silence and shock at
what they saw. Everyone rallied to Williams attention, even the other patients did
all they could to assist him to where he was given a bed. The doctors looked on in
dismay and talked together as to how he could still be alive. William had lived with
his condition 24 years. He could not walk and every single part of him was disfigured
from skin cancer. What strikes me to the very heart is that William never complained.
The nurses, doctors and patients alike all treat William for what he is which is
a very special person. I visit William every day, the health centers have little
or no medicines, I buy Williams treatment each day according to what the doctor directs
me to do, you do not get fed in a hospital here so I pay an older lady to cook and
feed William. We bought him a little radio so he can listen to it as he lies in Bed,
but overall William is kept very busy by all his new friends that he has met in the
health center who admire his strength, courage and resilience.
He is the life and soul of the hospital and now displays great happiness. Despite
his incredible pain, he has a great sense of humour. William will never be able to
go home but has improved so much and is an inspiration to all he meets. In this part
of the world it is not that unusual to meet such cases as that of William but I think
it is most surprising how people like William can change and touch our lives forever,
and show us what true courage is.