July 2019 (2)
June 2019 (4)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (5)
December 2018 (3)
November 2018 (3)
October 2018 (5)
September 2018 (3)
August 2018 (2)
July 2018 (2)
June 2018 (3)
May 2018 (3)
April 2018 (1)
March 2018 (3)
February 2018 (1)
January 2018 (3)
December 2017 (2)
November 2017 (3)
August 2017 (1)
July 2017 (2)
June 2017 (3)
May 2017 (2)
April 2017 (1)
March 2017 (2)
February 2017 (1)
January 2017 (1)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (3)
October 2016 (3)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (1)
May 2016 (1)
April 2016 (1)
March 2016 (1)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (3)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (1)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (1)
February 2015 (3)
January 2015 (1)
December 2014 (3)
November 2014 (2)
October 2014 (3)
August 2014 (2)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (2)
April 2014 (1)
March 2014 (1)
February 2014 (2)
September 2013 (5)
July 2013 (1)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
April 2013 (1)
March 2013 (1)
February 2013 (3)
December 2012 (1)
November 2012 (1)
June 2012 (3)
May 2012 (3)
April 2012 (1)
March 2012 (1)
February 2012 (2)
December 2011 (1)
November 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
September 2011 (2)
August 2011 (2)
June 2011 (1)
May 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (2)
January 2011 (1)
October 2010 (2)
September 2010 (1)
July 2010 (1)
June 2010 (1)
April 2010 (1)
March 2010 (1)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (2)
December 2009 (1)
November 2009 (1)
October 2009 (1)
September 2009 (1)
August 2009 (1)
July 2009 (1)
May 2009 (1)
April 2009 (1)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (2)
January 2009 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (1)
August 2008 (1)
July 2008 (1)
June 2008 (2)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (3)
March 2008 (4)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (2)
December 2007 (1)
October 2007 (1)
June 2007 (1)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (5)
March 2007 (2)
October 2006 (2)
September 2006 (2)
Print Article

Current Articles | Search | Admin Options

Boy Bitten by Snake While Fishing - Just the Beginning

The Miracle Campus is so large and so full of activity that it’s easy to miss individual patients coming and going for continuous treatment.
 
But they are there, and they are grateful.

Take the “snake bite boy” and his devoted father. 
             
A morning Iast December, 8-year-old Sinethemba Mbhamali was fishing in a river with a friend.  Suddenly, a snake showed its head above water and then disappeared.  Before Sinethemba could move, the snake bit his ankle. 
             
That was the beginning of an eight-month saga, which could have resulted in death or the loss of his left leg.  The snake probably was a cobra or another poisonous snake that inflicted cytotoxic venom, which kills the skin cells. 
            
Sinethemba did not immediately go home, because him mother was dead and his father wasn’t returning until that evening. His grandparents had died, too.  Sinethemba moved to the riverbank and continued fishing.
             
The next morning Solomon carried the feverish and injured boy to the closest clinic.   He was sent to a small hospital “far, far” away, his dad said.  Eventually, skin grafts were taken from his right leg to repair the damage that had spread up from the left ankle to above the knee.
             
Three months ago, neighbors told Solomon that The Luke Commission was coming to their rural community.  “I knew my boy needed more help,” Solomon said.  Sinethemba’s leg was infected and did not have any dressing on the wound. 
 

This is Sinethemba's leg when he and his father first came to TLC's outreach.   

The medical team immediately gave Sinethemba antibiotics, cleaned and bandaged his leg.   TLC has been treating Sinethemba ever since.  He and his dad travel to the Miracle Campus every week or two, where nurses monitor the healing process and cover the wound with new dressings.   
 
Father and son leave their homestead at 5 am to arrive on campus about 10 in the morning.  TLC pays for their transport.  During the first trips, Solomon carried his son on his back. 
             
“Not getting anti-venom soon meant this boy was headed for a poor outcome,” noted Dr. Harry VanderWal, “but not nearly as poor as it was, if infection and months of inactivity due to pain could have been avoided.”  
             
On the tenth trip, the medical team commended Solomon for his diligent care.  Nurse Hannah Wray said Solomon made sure his son did stretching exercises to improve strength and mobility of his damaged leg. 
             
Solomon explained that the whole community “uses that river,” although Sinethemba has not been fishing since the day he was bitten.  He had to drop out of school as the infection and pain took hold of his life.  However, all that has changed.
             
“It's good now,” Sinethemba said.  He is learning to walk on both legs again and to stand straight again.
 

Solomon Mbhamali smiles because his son is walking again.  Sinethemba (center) smiles because he is no longer in pain and almost able to run again.  TLC nurse Hannah Wray smiles because her patient is almost well again – and the snake did not prevail. 

Solomon’s two younger children died in 2010 and 2013, and then his wife passed away.  He said, “I am grateful to TLC.  He is my only child, and I want him to be well so he can go back to school and shine.”
             
May The Luke Commission help other Liswati children “shine.”
 
PS.  The Luke Commission has been entrusted with a good supply of anti-venom for snake bites, which must be administered as quickly as possible after snakes bites.  Anti-venom medication requires refrigeration and delicate care – part of TLC’s “comprehensive” healthcare.

Copyright 2019 by The Luke Commission