Bryan and Leila always try to send several patients to hospital together, if possible, so that they can help each other during the long journey. Last week they sent four patients to Vientiane together - one with a cleft lip, one with a jaw infection, one with a cleft palate, and one with noma.
Bryan and Leila always make sure that they arrive at the Luang Namtha bus station early so they can book a group of seats next to each other so the patients travel together. Then, in front of everyone, one person is given snacks and motion sickness medicine, telling them that these things are for everyone. Hopefully this exercise in sharing begins the process of them helping each other for the journey.
Recently, another passenger sat down in the middle of the group of seats that had been saved - and he refused to move. He had arrived late and did not want to sit in one of the left-over bad seats.
No problem, Bryan sat a leprosy patient next to him and the passenger quickly moved onto a stool placed in the aisle on the bus!! The patients were then able to travel together. The son of the leprosy patient sat next to his father for the long trip to Vientiane.
Well done Bryan!
Our favorite part of the visit was seeing the two special children above. One of them is walking after surgery to correct her club-feet.
The other girl is smiling after cleft-lip surgery.
We wish all of them and you the best for the New Year.