I’m sitting in the hospital while my 14-year-old son, Aidan, is undergoing surgery to remove the screws and plates that were put into his leg three months ago following a serious football injury. This is his 4th, and hopefully final, surgery. Three fractured bones and a serious complication called “compartment syndrome” and yet he will be, truly, just fine when this is all over. We’ve had great medical care and are blessed to have great health insurance; this devastating injury will not have any lasting impact other than the grotesque scars on poor Aidan’s leg.
Meanwhile, back in Ghana, one of the dearest boys I have ever met, 16-year-old Israel, missed ALL of last term in school because he got a bad cut on his leg that did not get proper treatment, ended up with a systemic infection, and finally was taken to the hospital when his leg was hugely swollen and on fire. Going to the hospital is expensive and they put it off for as long as possible; even using antibiotic cream is something done very sparingly because of the expense. Israel could have been spared all of this pain, and a missed term of school, if only he had the easy access to medical care that we do. But he was lucky... for many in Ghana this kind of systemic infection would have resulted in death because they could not afford medical treatment even as a last ditch effort.
So many of the kids at the orphanage have lost their parents or siblings to utterly curable injuries and illnesses... if only they could afford BASIC medical care. An injury such as Aidan’s would probably have been fatal in Ghana... at the very least it would have required amputation. And so as I sit here waiting for Aidan to come out of surgery, I am just so grateful that Aidan and I are blessed enough to be right where we are.