Bitho is a 19 year old whose brother, Kerby, attends my church and occasionally youth group. Kerby approached me a few weeks ago and asked for help - Bitho has severe sickle cell anemia and has had open wounds on both ankles for over a year that simply will not heal. I met Bitho, did a rather painful wound debridement (this involves cutting out all the dead tissue), and scheduled him to come to my Shoebox every morning for dressing changes and antibiotic shots.
Frantz helped me do Bitho's dressings this morning since today is a holiday and there is no school. He really struggles with school work - at age 6 1/2, he cannot count to 10 - but he is quite smart about helping me. He knows by now where pretty much everything in my house is so all I have to say is, "Frantz, go back where I keep the bandaids and grab an antiobiotic ointment please." And when my neighbors come for meds, "Frantz, tell this man how often to take his cold medicine." He knows it all, just from spending hours and hours at my house while his mom is gone all day selling wares on the other side of town. He's almost as good as the young people who help me at Delmas 24 :)
It's been a little more than 2 weeks since I started caring for Bitho. Honestly, the wounds only look marginally better. I have a team of doctors from Maine coming in 9 days, so I will have them take a look and give me tips, if there are any tips to be had. The last time I worked with wounds like these was in 2005 when I lived in Belgium and worked on a diabetic unit. Most of their non-healing wounds ended in amputation - that would be devastating for this young man!