Kabugho Margaret is coming home to die. After two weeks at Mulago, the nation’s referral hospital, her tumor has not been found to be treatable in this country. I do second-guess my decision to even send her there, but as a doctor and a parent I find it necessary to have at least tried, to know that every avenue was exhausted. Someone posted a comment asking about contributing to costs for referral care: we would be grateful. Click on the “how to contribute” sidebar for sending money to our support account, then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will withdraw that amount of money and keep it in a certain envelope we have in our safe. When children need funds for transportation to other hospitals in the country I then pull from that money. Sometimes it is as little as a few dollars to get a chest xray, as in the little girl I sent today to Bundibugyo hospital, she is wasted and breathing quickly and an orphan, so I suspect TB. Compared to America it is never very much money—for a few hundred dollars baby Witness went to Mbale to have her spina bifida repaired this month, I spoke with the nurse and she should be ready to come home soon. About two months ago we were able to send a twin with a cleft lip for plastic surgery. So our role sometimes is to problem solve how to connect our needy patients with other charities, and we use some of our support money to help that process. Thanks for asking.
I need to remember that Kabugho’s return to Bundibugyo is not her true homecoming. Thoughts of home, what makes a place home, how is Heaven our home, fill my heart. One of our interns spent a good chunk of her childhood here, so seeing her re-connect with people and place does my heart good as I hope my own children will always feel at home in Uganda. Luke found out this week that he qualified, along with three other CSB students, for a regional math contest in Mbarrara in about two weeks. I can see that this rare moment of approval, belonging, representing the school, is good for him. In God’s graciousness, the day of the first round of the contest, the whole thing was so disorganized and late that Caleb gave up and Luke’s best friend here Kataramu took Caleb’s spot. Kataramu also qualified, so they get to go together. It is hard to explain how significant that is . . . But I am grateful for the friendship and the way it all worked together as a little encouragement that Bundibugyo is, on some level, Luke’s home. . . . Even though we are painfully aware of all the ways this is not home.
Praying for a not-too-painful homecoming for Margaret, both to Bundibugyo and to Heaven.