Dear Emirates Airline Foundation,
I would like to genuinely thank you for your support as my wife and I traveled to Uganda this past September/October (2012). We had the privilege of working with Outreach to Africa and helping the wonderful Ugandan people during our month long stay. This opportunity was one of the reasons I pursued a career in Family Medicine, and my experience was better than I anticipated.Our journey started here at home in California as we witnessed many individuals and organizations give donations in various forms with no hesitation. We brought over a large suitcase filled to capacity with numerous donated medications, vitamins, blood pressure machines, pregnancy tests, syringes, surgical and wound care items, and other needed supplies.
This generosity took us to Fort Portal and Rwebisengo communities in Uganda where we were able to focus our time and energy in providing medical care to various families and individuals in need. While there we worked with local clinics and schools and were able to provide medical care for approximately 500 people of all ages with various ailments.Throughout our trip we were amazed by how optimistic and selfless the Ugandan people were in the face of such limited resources. Our journals are full of memories from our journey that will forever impress our lives.
Some of our most touching and memorable experiences came when we had the opportunity to visit the humble homes of several bed bound elderly people in the community. One such experience involved a woman in her 80’s who was confined to her bed after she sustained a fall years prior and fractured her hip. At the time of the injury she was unable to have surgery because of her limited financial means. Though still of good spirits, she was undoubtedly in pain as we entered her home. During our visit we were able to listen to her struggles and provide her with medications to help alleviate some of the pain she was experiencing. As we departed she expressed to us her heartfelt gratitude for our service.
Another experience involved a 104-year-old woman at the end of her long life. She was also in extreme pain and suffering from several bedsores and permanent muscle spasms. The family, though loving, did not have the means or know how to make her comfortable during her last mortal days. Using the medications and supplies that were donated we were able to provide this woman and her family with comfort and peace during that difficult time. We felt a sense of reverence as we left this woman’s home.These individual experiences and many others during our work in Uganda will forever remain with us. We hope to make this service a lifelong tradition. Once again we wish to thank Emirates customers for their donation.
Travis McDonald, MD