Monday, October 23, 2006


For over a year I’ve been involved with 10 year old Elisha and his mom. They’ve been hard for me to write about – hard to get pictures of, too - they never turned out well - always too serious or something (so all the pictures here were taken the same day, and all in my office). I haven’t known how to proceed with him from the beginning. He has a chronic cough that brings up stuff that smells pretty bad. It’s been hard for him to go to school, to play regularly with other kids, etc. The condition is definitely handicapping to him making it hard to live a life as his peers do, but it’s not considered by all to be a disability, so it’s hard to get help for him.

In the past year we’ve been able to get a CT scan and have a lot of hospital and doctor visits and buy a lot of medicine. A lot of the help came through “open donations”. A lot of it also came through Doris’ (Elisha’s Mom’s) efforts. I went to the U.S. after my Aunt died to help my mom through some difficult times, and we sorted through my Aunt’s things. She had a lot of jewelry (which I don’t remember ever seeing her wear) – 10 pounds of it, in fact. I carried it back to Ghana with me, and Elisha’s mom has been working hard to sell it, which is how we’ve managed to pay for his medical treatment for the past 3 ½ months. Not a small thing, either. He required about $17 worth of medicine every 5 days until about 2 weeks ago. He required hospital visits every 2 weeks, costing another $10, and he finally required another CT scan costing $100. It doesn’t sound like all that much, but it adds up, and it’s hard to come by. I know it was hard for Doris, but I was so glad she was able to keep some dignity through this process, putting in effort to contribute toward her son’s treatments. I could literally see her holding her head up higher now that she had the means to contribute something, rather than just coming to me asking for something. Our interactions became more comfortable and natural. For the past few months, she’s been coming to me with money she has earned. We have been recording everything and helping her to have a safe place to save the money for the times Elisha’s medicines needed refilling and also for any other needs that arose.

After all this time his condition, diagnosed as bronchiectasis (a briefer description of the condition can be found here)of the right lung’s lower lobe, has been determined to require surgery. Elisha is a refugee, but the United Nations High Commission for Refugees doesn’t have the money for this kind of surgery. The doctor is saying the cost will be $2,000. We believe that we can talk the price down to $1,000 – $1,500 – but we need to have that on hand to offer, and even then we don't know for sure that the price will be negotiable. I'll keep you posted if anything develops for Elisha.


At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, My heart goes out to you! It is a crime that a wondeful child like Elisha has to go without surgery when it is only such a small amount. I think we (everyone who hears about this) should all give something every month until there is enough. No matter how poor we are, we can do something. I will commit to $50.00 a month. I know it isn't much but if a whole bunch of us do it, it won't take so long. Tell us the best way to get the money to you. Love and prayers. Ellie

At 6:50 PM, Blogger steve said...

Hey - thanks Ellie. I definately appreciate it. I just saw Doris, Elisha's mom, this morning and told her that we're still waiting to hear what happens. I do like her more and more. Anyway - the best way is to send any donation through SMA:

SMA Lay Associates
c/o Theresa Hicks
256 N. Manor Circle
Takoma Park, MD 20912

and put in the memo and also in a note that it's towards Steve's work with Elisha - that way they'll know whom to direct it to and also exactly the purpose for which it's intended. - steve


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