Today I walked a discharged patient, Samson, out to the gate. He had a hernia repair done and I realized it would not be a good idea for him to take the ½ mile walk carrying them. So I got some mid-shift exercise. Always appreciated.
Liberia doesn’t overwhelm me the way it did when I first got here. I fell my no longer wide eyes are finally becoming more sensitive to the small things. Like the holes is Samsons’s flip-flops.
I made him walk around the ward this morning and instructed him to first put on his “slippers”. As he slid them onto his feet, I noticed a palm-sized hole on the sole of the right foam flip flop. They were his only shoes. They are what he walked to the gate in.
Foam flip flops can be bought on the street for 60 LD (Liberian dollars) or one US dollar. I’m not really sure how many pairs of shoes I have, but I know I would never wear them if their soles had a palm-sized hole.
As Samson and I walked to the gate I inquired about his family. He is married and has two grown children. He is from the interior; rather far away. He paid 1800 LD for transportation to our screening day on Monday; a huge sum of money for someone who cannot afford a 60 LD pair of flip flops.
And he spent that money just to get to the screening, not knowing if he would even be chosen to receive surgery.
I’m glad he came. I’m glad we could help him.