Walking on a Fish Bone

12-year-old Ayak and her brother walked to Memorial Christian Hospital from their home village about 30 miles away. The girl was suffering from a sharp pain in the bottom of her foot which made the long journey on muddy dirt roads seem even longer. The children had first walked to the State Civil Hospital in Bor town, but the hospital has no X-Ray machine and was not able to diagnose the problem. The doctor at the state hospital referred the girl to MCH for X-Ray services since MCH has the only x-ray machine to serve the 1.4 million people in the region. Upon examining Ayak’s foot, MCH nurse Abraham Maduk found localized swelling in the painful area and what seemed to be a foreign object in the midst of the swelling. Grateful for the new x-ray machine at MCH, Abraham sent Ayak to the x-ray technician, Deng Bol.

fish bone x-ray
fish bone x-ray

Deng took two images of Ayak’s foot and found that she had a large, sharp fish bone in the bottom of her foot. Ayak’s brother said that in September of 2014, Ayak was playing barefoot in the Nile river near where the fish bones are dumped. She had been walking on this fish bone for almost a year. With the help of the x-ray, MCH staff were able to diagnose Ayak's problem.

Ayak’s family is grateful God led people to give to Partners in Compassionate Care which provides safe and affordable healthcare through the work of Memorial Christian Hospital. While MCH does charge a small fee for services, no patient is turned away because they cannot pay for treatment. In Ayak’s situation, the family paid a small fee of 65 SSP ($10) for the x-ray.

Without an x-ray in the area, the cost would have been much more. Ayak and her brother would have had to travel to Juba and pay either 1000 SSP ($200) for round trip airfare or 300 SSP for a very dangerous road trip. The family would also have the expense of food and accommodations in Juba. The x-ray services in Juba would have cost the family about 200 SSP ($30). Her brother would have to take time off from the family farm, which would had result in a loss of food for this farming season.