I returned from Lusaka, Zambia, Africa, August 30, 1999. It was like waking up from a dream because everything I saw and experienced was so far from what I know as reality. But I cannot forget Juliet. Of all that I saw in Zambia, I have not been so moved with compassion than with Juliet.
Juliet is just two years old and cute as she could be. She makes me think of my own two year old daughter. Juliet is like any other child running around the house, playing games children play and generally having a good time. Barefooted, like the other children, not because she has a choice but because most children in Zambia are. As Juliet rounded the corner running through the kitchen she ran headlong into her cousin carrying a large pot of boiling water. Juliet is severely burned throughout her face, shoulders and arms.
Juliet's parents have no transportation so there is no way to get her quickly to the hospital. Fortunately however, Jennie and Sandra, who I am staying with and are my mission partners in Zambia, answer the call for help shortly after 5:00 p.m. Friday, the 20th of August. Jennie and Sandra rush her to the hospital. I stay behind because I have other things to do and hey, I would not be able to help even if I went. About an hour later Sandra comes rushing into the house tearing through the cabinets, the bathroom and bedrooms looking and asking for burn medication. The hospital has no medication on the shelf for baby Juliet!
It is after 5:00 p.m. and the prescription the doctor wrote can not be filled since the pharmacy is closed and will not re-open until the morning. Worse, the hospital has no I.V. for Juliet and no pain reliever. Juliet is in a state of shock and Jennie and Sandra are sure Juliet will die.
Somewhere in all the confusion I am getting a wake-up call. Things here are not the way they are in the states. Jennie and Sandra had asked me to bring some Children's Tylenol and my wife and I did pick some up from Costco. But it had already been distributed and was no longer available to us. As I scrambled through my toilet articles I found a small tube of Neosporin. I also had a small bottle of aspirin, only about ten left in my computer bag.
The severity of the situation remains touch and go through the weekend. My travel guide, Emanuel and I go to the hospital to see how Juliet is doing on Monday. By chance, she has just checked out and we are able to catch up to them as they are filling a prescription. We learn from the mother and sister they will be short on the fare to take a cab home. The money they have is all that they have. Immediately we make and cover the necessary arrangements. The total fare is less than two U.S. dollars. Over the next few days special care is given to Juliet and her state improves but the mother does not seem to truly understand the continual need to keep the flies off the open wounds. It's an educational process. It seems no one is fully aware of the associated risks of disease.
We purchased a mosquito net for Juliet to sleep in and mission partner and Mike Mealey carefully washed the wounds with water that had neccesitated being cooled off after boiling. Mike knows well the cleaning process as he is a double amputee himself. A hero in his own right, he is now a hero for Juliet despite her protests and cries throughout the careful process of cleaning the wounded areas.
Juliet has made a full recovery as of this writing, September 10, 1999, and her survival and quick healing is incredible.
Since her recovery, it has become a project focus to of mine, to provide more medical supplies through one of our project partners, MAP International. Now we have several suppliers of medicine that we work together with. Medical supplies will be taken in bulk to this nation, Zambia, to hospitals and the crisis nurseries.
One person really can make a big difference through leverage giving. Depending upon availability at the time of purchase, $450 buys these children medicines through MAP International, from various companies, which wholesale value can be more than $20,000.
Working together we can multiply our impact many times over. You, your company, your employer, your church, or some other entity you know of should sponsor one or more "Travel Packs" or even a full container.