“I’m not scared at all.”
The quiet confidence of Tulsa Bai underscores the faith and trust placed in the team from Medical Missions Foundation.
I spoke with Bai as she waited for surgery. She wore a serene smile on her face; her hands calmly resting on her medical records ready to present to the operating room nurse.
Bai has suffered from painful kidney stones over the past four years. But she didn’t have the courage to take care of it until three women from her village of Sandiya had the same operation last year and urged her to come. “The women who left here were so happy with the way they feel they really recommended I do it,” she said. In a remote region of India where witch doctors are sometimes considered to be quality health care, that is quite a compliment to our team.
For Dr. Naren Khare, the urologist, formerly from Leawood, Ks who helped bring Medical Missions Foundation to Bhopal, Bai’s belief in the team is something special. “This is particularly gratifying,” he said. “And the news is spreading to villages 300-400 miles away. People are getting help who would otherwise remain suffering.”
For Bai, it’s especially important she recover from her kidney stones. She has three children at home and she sometimes must help her husband who works in a wheat field.
“This area of India is considered to be the ‘stone belt,’” said Dr. Prashant Jain, a urologist who came from New Dehli to help with the team. There are scores of people who suffer from kidney stones in this remote region and few, if any surgeons to treat them. “People work in a hot climate,” he mentioned. “Water is limited.”
Anyone who has suffered with kidney stones knows how excruciatingly painful it is. Some compare to the pain of having a baby. But left untreated, the condition can cause more problems than pain. “It can block kidney function, lead to infection and death. Even cause cancer,” Jain said.
Perhaps because of the length of time it had been there, Bai’s stone was stubbornly entrenched. It took a while for the surgeons to complete the operation. I was in the OR to photograph the physicians. The most touching moment came when one of the doctors gave her a reassuring pat on the leg, despite the fact she was still under sedation.
When I visited Bai in the recovery dorm after the surgery was finished she was quick with a smile, and a thank you. She said she feels well and happy and is looking forward to getting home to her husband and family.