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The Lady from Togo

The lady from Togo had been working on her farm when she got some kind of wound.

As is common in rural areas in West Africa, she smeared some kind of home made concoction on it that might have included cow manure.

By the time she reached our hospital, the skin and flesh were terribly infected, the smell was incredible, and the flies were circling. The tissue was so rotten that I actually did the debridement under a small dose of Pethidine – similar to Demerol – and then we began cleaning the wounds daily with hydrogen peroxide and dressing them with sugar dressings. I eventually grafted her, but it took months for her to heal. At one point she became extremely depressed, so I sicced Bob on her. An inveterate tease, Bob began encouraging her to walk, making faces and doing anything he could to get her to smile. Bob and I had to give the patient and her family money so that she would be able to buy food. In the beginning I was also making formula from soy powder and milk powder for her so that she would get enough protein. Now that she has healed, she looks 20 years younger and 5 inches taller!



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