Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Tory, Emma, Tye, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan

Friday, February 3, 2012

“The Boy Can Walk”

Kipkoech (now a little over two months since surgery after having both femurs plated, and tibia casted) and his mother.

Kipkoech, walking quite well with crutches. His picture was also in the recent blog entitled "Hope."

Other young boys treated at Tenwek for lower extremity fractures. These three, whom we dubbed "the three musketeers" would daily join for wheelchair mayhem in the Tenwek courtyard.

All toothless smiles after being released from three weeks of traction for a femur fracture.

Last Wednesday, our busy clinic day, while walking across the courtyard from theatre to clinic, I heard a woman’s voice call out, “Dakarti, the boy can walk!” I turned and saw a nicely dressed, broadly smiling woman standing next to a young boy who was leaning on a pair of crutches. The boy looked very familiar, but I struggled to remember who he was of the several dozen young patients I had operated on in the last several months. I then recalled his story (and remembered that I had a picture of him in my recent blog entitled "Hope"). As is all too common in Kenya, while walking on the side of the road, he was hit by a car, and suffered bilateral femur fractures and a left compound (open) tibia fracture. After three surgeries, including plates and screws on both femurs, now only two months after his injury, he was walking quite well and x-rays showed that all his fractures were healing without any signs of infection.

After chatting with the boy and his mother for a while, the woman said, “Thank you for helping my boy walk again.” To be completely honest, when I heard this comment, I immediately felt a degree of pride, as if his ability to walk was somehow about me, and my ability. But then I remembered the entire orthopedic team (nurses, scrub techs, physiotherapists, etc.) that works so hard every day taking care of the many patients like Kipkoech...and I thought of the team of people all over the world who support the work at Tenwek through giving, encouragement and prayer...and I thought about the motto that has been Tenwek’s trademark for decades, “We treat, Jesus heals"...and finally, I was gently reminded by God where I would be without His amazing grace in my own life. I then had the overwhelming sense that all that happens here at Tenwek is NOT AT ALL about me, but rather about God’s unbelievable goodness and grace. I then told her, “Please give thanks to God, because he is the One healing your boy.” “Yes, of course,” she said shrugging her shoulders in Kenyan fashion...“I do!”

Thank you for partnering with us to help boys like Kipkoech walk again so that the name of Christ may be glorified!

Hebrews 12:12-13 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.


G. Bryan Cornwall, PhD said...

Dr. Dan Galat: your work and dedication to the patients visiting Tenwek along with the related stories are inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing these moving descriptions. May you continue to be Blessed and share your skills with the patients of Tenwek.

All the best to the entire Galat family!

Neil Motzkin said...

Hello Dr. Galat -
I'm an orthopedist in Chandler Arizona and I've lived for years in the same neighborhood as your in-laws. I just recently met them; and they gave me this blog address. I must say - I commend you for the impressive work you're doing. Please contact me - whenever you're coming back Arizona. I think we should visit.
Neil Motzkin