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

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Cord of Many Strands

Eric, with Kiprono (my partner) and I, his surgeons.   

Pre-op CT scan showing Eric's bent-over spine, the injury being right at the level where the spinal cord ends.  

X-ray, post-surgery, showing the straightened spine. 

Eric, a young 20-year-old patient recently admitted to Tenwek, was working as a mason at a local construction site, laying block.  He bent over to temper his mortar and when he stood upright, he became dizzy and disoriented and fell three stories onto a hard object.  The fall caused a flexion-distraction injury to the L1 vertebrae of his spine.  Fortunately, he was not paralyzed by the injury, but his spine was bent over with a significant kyphotic deformity.

Thanks to a generous donation from the NuVasive Spine Foundation (NSF), we had the tools to help, and a few days later, he underwent a posterior instrumented fusion of his T12-L2 vertebra using screws and rods, straightening his crooked spine.  Normally, these screws cost approximately $200 a piece, and had we not the donation, Eric would not have been able to afford such a life-changing surgery.  The days following surgery, Eric was out of bed, and walking almost normally with a big smile, realizing what God had done for him through the ministry at Tenwek.

Eric wrote a letter to NuVasive after the surgery: “I thought I was going to be bedridden, but to my surprise, NuVasive rescued me.  The donation has come as a blessing to me.  This is quite an innovative medical device that has come at the right time. Without it, we would not have afforded the price.” 

We are blessed at Tenwek to have multiple partners (NuVasive, Biomet, Hope International, Project Cure, and many others), who have joined us in our mission to care for the most needy patients here in our small part of Africa.  Without our partners, and you who pray for and support our family, we would not be able to offer such specialized orthopaedic services here in Kenya, and hence, such an effective means of sharing the practical love of Christ to our patients.  Together, we are a cord of many strands.  All I can say is that we can’t do this alone!  Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support! 

Ecclesiastes 4:12: "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."