"Once you see, you own the responsibility to do"
- Becky Douglas
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I just returned from a Leprosy Colony called Bethal Nagar. It is about a forty five minute drive from where we stay at Rising Star. This is one of the many colonies that we service with the Mobile Medical Clinic. We have twenty-one volunteers this week and we divide into smaller groups between tutoring, construction and medical. Olivia, Boston, Belle and I went to help with the medical group. We pulled up in the medical van around 10:45...a lot of the colonist go to church until 11:00 so we walked around the colony to visit with the people. Right outside the community center was a man dragging himself along the dirt ground. We all just looked at him and watched him on the ground. I got distracted and starting talking to other colonist, everyone wanted to see Belle and pinch her cheeks. We walked the colony and heard all the amazing stories. One story of a man who was blind for twenty years...he was a quiet sad man and wanted to die. He kept pleading with our Rising Star doctor to try and see if he could get a cataract surgery. Our Doctor took him to the hospital and they told him no, he was to old and it would not work. After a lot of persuading the eye surgeons decided to try the surgery. Well the surgery worked and he can now see after 20 years! He is such a different man now, he can see...he yells hallelujah, sings and dances all the time. He is so full of gratitude...you can feel the love and happiness he has...he has a wonderful spirit about him. We continued walked past the end of the narrow village street and back to the old dirty community center...as I walked it felt surreal walking in the leprosy colony helping and spending time with the leprosy affected...I couldn't believe I was here in India. My thoughts brought me back to that man dragging himself along on the dirt. I turned the corner to the street and the man was still in front of the building trying to inch his way somewhere. I went inside and proceeded to set up for all the patients that we had to help that day. We set up and started to clean wounds, check blood sugar and blood pressure. As I was helping the thought came to me that we work for an amazing organization...Rising Star...I have a doctor right next to me that I trust and that speaks Tamil...I could probably help this man that no one seems to notice. I walked over to ask Dr. Kumar about him and Doctor Kumar went and asked around. He was told that the man just showed up a few days ago and has a really bad infection in his private area...he couldn't stand or walk or crawl, it took him one hour to move only a few feet. We talked to the head of the colony and decided that we could hire someone to bathe, shave, buy him clothes and take him to the hospital. The hospital would turn him away in the state he was in. The man that we found was a respected man in the colony and promised to give us updates. He would have to stay with the sick man in the hospital for at least five days, so the deal was 1500 rupees for total hospital bill, clothes, ride, and food for five days. That seems like a good deal to save someones life for only 30 American dollars! I was so full of gratitude for the opportunity I have to be a part of Rising Star and be able to help others. We have so many wonderful people that are a part of this great work.