Interventions that change lives
I recently met renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Howard from at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was speaking to a group of pediatricians at Shriner’s hospital in Spokane. One of the subjects he touched on was global health. What struck me was his emphasis on the importance of working in partnership with local physicians. Reliance on local resources is essential for projects to truly have a lasting impact. This really struck home with me, as we have always been committed to this ideal at Mali Medical Relief. I continue to be astounded by the amazing work we can do with so little. I hope you, our critical supporters are too. We are unique in how we rely exclusively on local expertise to run our organization. This means we help not only individual patients, but also the healthcare system by creating increased demand for technically advanced medical and surgical care. Our physicians can treat increasingly complex cases because we provide the support and resources to make them possible. When we first began nearly 10 years ago, I would never have imagined we would be helping patients with complex surgical needs. I am so proud of the work our team does, and incredibly humbled by the support provided by you, our donors.
This year several interventions stand out in my mind. First is a story of amazing perseverance. 12-year-old Kadiatou* is homeless after both her parents died. She was struck by a car this November and survived the impact. However, it left her with a broken right hip and ankle. Mali Medical Relief jumped in to help right away. Her hip and ankle have been repaired, and she is well on her way to full rehabilitation. The team is also working on helping to stabilize her home situation; truly taking care of the whole patient.
During our last site visit, representatives from the trauma unit were dismayed at how many amputations in pediatric patients they were seeing due to delayed treatment of compound fractures (open bone breaks). They pinpointed the source of the problem, a lack of available external fixation devices. We purchased two additional external fixation devices for the trauma unit to assist with limb sparing surgeries. These timely interventions are critical to prevent amputations and complications from infection.
Finally, we are reaching out to our NGO and government partners who care for pediatric cancer patients. These partners provide the standard chemotherapy for the disease. We were asked to help facilitate diagnostic and adjuvant treatment interventions. As I write, we have just accepted a new patient with neuroblastoma (6 yo boy) who needs additional diagnostic evaluation. These specialized interventions can substantially decrease morbidity and mortality related to pediatric leukemia and tumors.
Your support is essential to the work we do. Every dollar goes to directly fund patient care. Please consider donating to help sustain our ongoing activities. It truly means the world to us at Mali Medical Relief to be able to give hope to families in time of crisis. I welcome questions, suggestions, and ideas from everyone as we look to continue to grow and improve our operations.
With deep gratitude for your ongoing support,
|Mali Medical Relief Fund 501©3. 316 W Central, Missoula, MT 59801. Pictures are by patient consent only. Names changed to protect privacy.|
Founder and Board Chair
Ethel MacDonald Treasurer, Kendra Wiggins MD, Mark Travassos MD, Mamadou Sylla MD, Paul Kamate MD, Hamidou Diallo MD, Morgan Halvorson, Tom Barger web development.