Thursday, March 5, 2009


Kos came to us in January, he is from a very remote place in the bush (Kombo) about 3 days walk away. He had a sore of his L leg and so him and his dad decided to walk out of the bush to see us. The first day they walked from 7 til 3pm without a trail to get to a relative's house. The second day they walked all day long into the evening to get to another house of someone they knew. They crossed 2 large rivers, the Ramu and Jimi, with the dad putting him on his shoulders to get across the rivers which were up to the dad's chest. The 3rd day they finally got to a road and then took a 20K PMV to get to Banz. The following day they came and saw me.
When I saw him, he walked in with a big smile on his face, but had a green cloth on his leg. When I removed this bandage I found part of his tibia exposed through his skin. I knew he had osteomyelitis and that he needed surgery, but he was from longwe. Due to the overabundance of surgical cases in our Jiwaka area, we typically don't do longwe elective surgery cases. If we did surgery on everyone that needed surgery who came to us in PNG, our whole hospital would be a surgical ward and Jim would be in the OR all the time. I discussed the case with Jim and explained that they came from really far away, and he looked at the leg and agreed to do the surgery.
It has now been 3 months, and Kos and his dad are getting ready to go home. Jim performed a sequestectomy on him and now his leg is healing up well. They are looking forward to going home and seeing the rest of his family, he has 3 siblings at home. Meghan Harlan, one of our volunteers has been spending some time with him these past few days. She has really enjoyed getting to know them and will miss them when they are gone. I saw Kos and his dad, Paul, outside yesterday and was talking with them. Paul informed me that the white meri was going to take Kos home with her. I tried to clarify this, did he think Meghan was going to take him home here on Kudjip station, or home like America. He assured me it was America. I told him, I think Meghan misspoke and that she is unable to take him back to America with her. He assured me that is what she said. At lunch, I talked to Meghan to make sure she knew what he understood so she could straighten it out. Through a translator she was able to straighten it out. Although I think Meghan would love to get to see Kos everyday, taking him to America isn't really an option.