Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Samaritan

Phillip is a construction worker.  By no fault of his own a brick (Kenyan bricks are the size of a mailbox) dropped from the building where he was working at struck his cheek.  He suffered a mandibular fracture.  
Phillip was struggling to raise the necessary funds to pay for his needed surgery.  He returned to his village to speak to all his friends and family but was only able to raise 2000 ksh (25 usd).  
He returned to dental as we sought a way to get his treatment accomplished.  Unfortunately many of the fees (anesthesia, hospitalization, medications) were beyond our control.  We seemed at a loss at how Phillip could get his surgery.  He needed help from someone... somewhere?
In Luke chapter 10 we read the familiar Parable of the Good Samaritan:

  Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coinse]" style=" line-height: 0.5em; ">[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

But do Good Samaritans still exist? Does a stranger help another stranger in need in real life in real time? That doesn't happen any more does it?   Budgets are tight with the current economy.  People in Kenya daily struggle to get by.  People out of necessity have to look our after themselves and their families.  

A stranger approached me after over-hearing my conversation with Phillip.  This Kenyan lady (I never caught her name) said, "I want to help him."
"You don't even know him..and you want to help him."
"Will this do?  Will this be enough so he can get his surgery." The lady handed me 8000 Ksh (100 USD).  
"Yes, Yes we can do it. Thank-you, Thank-you so much. You have really inspired me.  We can do Phillip's surgery.  You have really made a difference in his life."
She left and I'm not sure if I will see her again.  Phillip you can see with his receipt in hand and in Theatre received his surgery the following day thanks to a modern day Good Samaritan.


Anonymous said...

And I know you went home saying, "That's why I am here." What a piece of encouragement. Thanks for sharing.

Bend, OR

hankwillisdds said...


Did you do the fixation or is there an OMFS, or ENT, or was it a general surgeon? Do you personally attend these surgeries in the OR?

The Friess Family said...

The general surgeon and myself do the fixation and plating of fractures together in the OR as I can get away from the dental ciinic.