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Mummy Foot and Eye Surgery

Mummy foot… it’s not just an attempt to dress up one part of your body for a half hearted Halloween costume. Around here it is a full fledged disease that we have been seeing more and more of recently. The official diagnosis would be gangrenous foot secondary due to diabetes or peripheral arterial disease. While it can occur in any extremity, the foot is the most common location for this disease to pop up.

Let me describe it for you as pictures may cause a little stomach upset! Most or all of the toes are black, and the blackness extends from the toes partially down the foot where the skin changes to a yellowish/greyish color. Usually the toes are shriveled up and are unable to be moved (think of accidentally leaving a piece of fruit, say an orange, in the trunk of your car and discovering it a month later when it is black and hard as a rock). And then the smell, oh the smell! We have no words to describe this, but if you can imagine a half rotting piece of flesh smell, well you’ve got it.

I’m not sure if our patients are really trying to be in the festive Halloween spirit, but we have had an onslaught of mummy foot this month. Just three people in one week alone. These feet usually require extensive wound care (Andrew’s department) and an amputation. Once there is blackness in those toes… there is no going back. Without the amputation, there is risk for the  tissue death and infection to continue up the leg and cause much more serious complications.

As I was thinking of this gross disease… and marveling at how people can wait so long to seek medical care, (I mean if one toe is turning weird colors and smelling funky I’d be running to get some tests done people!) I thought about my spiritual journey and how many parts of my life are infected. And yet, even with my sin causing this spiritual death, I frequently turn a blind eye and ignore the obvious blackness creeping into my soul.. Ephesians 1:7 says ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Gods grace.’ I am thankful that the Lord gives his mercies new every morning and that, unlike these feet which are permanently damaged and need amputation, Jesus’s grace and healing is enough to breathe life back into the dead parts of my soul.

Sr. Richert in the operative suite

October is one of our busier months for teams and medical specialists.  We started the month with an Orthopedic team which was then followed by Ophthalmology and now we have an Ear, Nose and Throat team here for the next week.    One story that sticks out is on one of the last days the ophthalmologist, We have seen the Lord work many miracles through these teams and specialists.Dr. Richert, was here we had a police officer come in who was involved in a traffic stop where his car was rammed and he was ejected through the front windshield of the police car.  Amazingly he did not suffer any life threatening injuries but he did rupture his globe, aka burst his eyeball.  Dr. Richert worked meticulously to save this patient’s eye through a very intensive and complicated operation that lasted late into the evening.  Thankfully his eye was able to be saved which would not have happened had our ophthalmologist not been here.

Please continue to pray for Oscar, our patient who has a complex leg fracture and open leg wound who we have been following for the past several months.  We had a setback recently when one of the bones in his leg shifted out more from his leg wound.  Please pray that God would miraculously heal his leg and give life to bones and tissue that have been dead and weakened.  Please also pray that Oscar would find renewed strength and encouragement to continue to press on and trust God in the midst of a difficult injury.


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