I returned from a 2010 trip with our Ghanaian prosthetic limb program …only to be medically sidelined for 8 years. The surgeries continued and infections nearly took me out (twice!). I found myself floundering physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
During this time, Peter helped me move my massive medical history to Vanderbilt University Medical center, where a different team took a crack at me. Bringing a new group up to speed on a 35-year medical history like mine was no easy task. With a lot of work, however, we chipped away at it.
A New Direction
Pain medications were changed, and most eliminated, as we explored numerous alternatives. Some worked …some failed, but doctors, including my new pain specialist, kept at it.
Step by step, my health improved. While my pain remains relentless, and I can no longer stand up straight, I am coping better. The infections and inactivity took a bit of steam out of me, while also leading to significant weight gain. With the help of quality prosthetics, and a clearer mind, I started walking. In 3 years, I’ve dropped a staggering 90 pounds.
While not where I want to be, and still in a great deal of pain, I have a different outlook and perspective.
Just Showing Up
Given all that, I purpose to return to Ghana on August 17, 2018. A team of six is going, and we’ll provide more on each of them over the next few weeks.
I can’t do a lot physically with the team. Mostly I’m only able to just show up. But showing up allows patients, their families, the media, government officials in Ghana, and many others to see possibilities and more. They witness the source of my strength, hope, and joy …even in my challenging circumstances.
Boasting all the more gladly in my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9), more than offsets my limited abilities.
My passion is to let each patient know that amputation doesn’t define them, or limit them from living a life full of meaning. I remain deeply honored to display my limitations in order for others to see the possibilities with God.In that culture, all too many consider disability a curse. I’m on a mission to show them that the only curse is sin, and Christ bore that curse for us on the cross. We live in a fallen world with often painful consequences, but He gives us strength and grace to endure those and more …as we trust Him with our difficulties.
…And a Light Unto my Path. Psalm 119:105
My journey is painful and filled with many tears. So is theirs.
I couldn’t see the path until someone showed me. It’s my privilege to now be that someone for other amputees and individuals with disabilities.
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things. Romans 10:15