Doctor on board for Outreach 5, Nyree Swan, shares a story of when the ship was in the Western Province:
Above: Clinic Leader, Jennifer Perry, and volunteer doctor, Nyree Swan, on their way to a village in the Western Province
Our visit to the village of Abam was put off for a couple of days as the villagers were competing in a sports carnival. Towards the end of our first clinic day, a young woman came hopping into the clinic using a walking stick 1 ½ times her height! She still had a smile on her face. She had been competing in a basketball game a few days before. 10 minutes into the game an opposition player had kicked her in the heel causing a sudden severe pain shooting from the heel to the calf. She had been unable to put weight on the foot since. I examined her and did the ‘calf squeeze test’ which was positive (meaning on squeezing her calf there was no movement of the foot). This means she had a rupture of the Achille’s tendon. Left untreated, this could lead to permanent disability. Amazingly, some of our group had actually been witness to an Achille’s tendon repair at Daru Hospital the day before, so we at least knew the treatment was available.
This lady smilingly informed me she needed to be better for the next tournament. I had to advise her she would likely need surgery for her injury. She would need to go to the surgical clinic at Daru Hospital the following Monday for examination and further treatment and was given a letter of referral. Hopefully she will be back representing the village in the basketball team before too much longer!