Tuesday, May 31, 2011

If I could be like Mike

Mike Bible is a World Medical Mission volunteer who is with us for 3 months.  He is a retired rheumatologist who is willing to do anything he can to help out.   We can say that about many of our volunteers, but Mike has had some challenges in his life, which has impressed us all.  The more I talk to him and learn about him the more I am inspired by him.    

He is deaf - well mostly anyway, from a progressive hearing loss and now has cochlear implants.  It is still challenging for him to hear anyone who isn’t directly in front of him, but he makes it work.  The nursing students and translators have adjusted and have learned to speak loud and look at him when they talk.  He can’t hear well on the phone, which would make call quite challenging, but he wouldn’t hear of not doing his part.  We came up with an alternative plan of him helping out on Sat mornings, which has been great for all of us. 

He is blind – in one eye.  As a 5 yo he poked himself in the eye with a knife and lost his eye and vision because of that.  That didn’t stop him from going to college on a football scholarship.  Nor has it stopped him from injecting every joint he can on the pts who come to see him each day.

He taught himself to read in college because he could only read at a 6th grade level after high school.  Yet, he went to medical school and became a rheumatologist, and now is here in PNG treating all kinds of conditions and diseases that he has never seen before.  Not being familiar with things isn’t holding him back, he read about orthopedics before he came, trying to get up to speed on what he might see here.  He was practicing suturing on pillows at home since he hasn’t sutured in 35 yrs and knew we would get opportunities to do so here.  He has rounded on our pediatric ward and taken care of our nursery babies despite not having training in either.  He is doing everything he can to contribute. 

Mike is a servant and has served us in many ways by being here, and has inspired me to be more of a servant just as Christ was.