A Story for the Ages -- and Aged
Mobile Hospital Outreaches are still the core of TLC’s Compassionate Medicine – taking comprehensive medical care to rural communities, where 70% live with little or no healthcare. Since 2005, The Luke Commission has crisscrossed the country year after year, setting up free hospital outreaches and offering 1.9 million services.
Amon is 102 years old. His much-younger wife verified his claim. “Yes I was born in 1915. Almost everybody I know has died, except my sixth wife, and today I still love her.”
At the risk of getting ahead of an amazing story, let’s backtrack briefly… Amon came to a mobile hospital out in the byways of Swaziland with a special request. “Please can you take this off me?” He walked with two canes, but he stood tall. What he said was hard to imagine at first, but before long we all listened and believed…
Under his right armpit was a lipoma that had been growing for a decade, especially the last two years. It was the size of a large grapefruit. TLC’s surgical team examined the lipoma, consulted TLC’s senior medical staff, and determined they could operate that very day in a rural schoolroom transformed into a one-day surgery room.
While the patient waited his turn, he talked about his life for the last 100 years. He married six women. “Two died, and three left many years ago. I was left with one wife.” She bore him 13 of his 20 children; 5 have died while 8 still live.
He supported his big family as a tailor, sewing and selling blankets, dresses, and trousers. “I did not struggle too much. That is why I still live.”
Amon remembers his boyhood in Swaziland. “It was nice and quiet here. Not like today. I took care of the cattle and stayed at the old king’s royal kraal (chiefdom).”
Mostly, he talked about his wife – “my beautiful lady.” Amon took her into his home as a servant when she was 10 years old. “She was respectful and obedient. We Swazis will wait for a young woman to grow up before marrying her. I did not want to wait too long, because maybe she would leave.”
She was 22 years old when the couple wed. Today, she is 61. Following surgery, Amon’s wife said of the lump under her husband’s armpit. “I am too glad it’s gone. It hit me when we were sleeping. Now I am full of joy.”
As for Amon: “I am telling more people to come get help no matter their age. You take care of old people, too.”
by Janet Tuinstra for The Luke Commission
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