Timothy is a young man with, we hope, a bright future. He has been sponsored all through school and done very well. As an intelligent and caring chap, Timothy sees that his people in Uganda struggle to get good medical care and he wants to become a Doctor. He achieved the results he needed to go to medical school and is now studying pre-clinical medicine. Timothy has a Christian faith. He was brought up by parents who pray and have trusted God to help them with their children’s future.
When we met Timothy, we had just learned that his sponsor was unable to continue to support him and so we have stepped in to fund his Medical studies. My husband, Simon, is a GP and he had the benefit of studying Medicine in the UK without having to pay fees and with a government student grant – so we felt it was only right to support Timothy in this way.
Timothy took part in our Careers day where he spoke to the assembled young people, clearly and compassionately, about his desire to be a Doctor. He also admitted that he enjoyed rapping and treated us to a performance!
In the Medical Mission of 2020, we were blessed to have Timothy as our interpreter. He was gentle and wise with the patients – a good listener and a good companion. He loved to hold the babies and wasn’t at all fazed by their stickiness (sweeties) or dampness (nappies are not normally worn by Ugandan babies).
As the clinics progressed, I would leave Timothy alone with the patients whilst I discussed the case with Dr Simon and ask Timothy to find out certain things – such as “try to find out why she seems so down when she says she just has a headache” and “how are things at home?”. He always found out useful information and he gained confidence in his consultation skills. Without his gentle and perceptive enquiries, we would have learned far less about our patients.
At one point we were presented with a recalcitrant 3 year old who was refusing point blank to swallow any medicine. One of the other Doctors had seen him the day before and his mum had been unable to get him to comply with treatment, so he still had a very high temperature and had tested positive for malaria. Timothy and Fresara Bunjo worked together with great good humour, patience and craftiness, to get little Raymond to swallow paracetamol liquid to lower his temperature and then his other medicine. They used red fruit juice, which the drank in front if him and the slipped some medicine into his cup. Mum was sent home with the juice and the instructions to not drink it herself!! I was impressed with the care that these two showed to a difficult young man – and they didn’t get at all cross with him, but instead made it all into a fun game.
At our final clinic in Bombo, we had the privilege of meeting Timothy’s mum, Harriet, who came to see us with a nasty sore throat. We were glad to be able to treat her and to send her for some physio advice for her aches and pains after years of digging in the garden to grow food for her family. It was wonderful to be able to pray for her and then she prayed for us which was very special. I told her that we were very honoured to be an answer to one of her prayers.
On the bus trip back into Kampala, Timothy showed me his family home which just off the main road beyond Bombo. I could see the neat and green garden, beautifully laid out, all Harriet”s work.
We have stayed in touch with Timothy by Messenger and he has just completed some exams which will contribute 15% towards his final marks. He is diligent and we trust that they have gone well. When we return to Uganda we plan to take medical textbooks from our own and our daughter’s libraries to help Timothy’s studies.
We hope that Timothy will translate for us again in the future; his University like him to have practical medical experience and as Simon has been a trainer of medical students in the UK, he is well placed to support Timothy as he develops his skills.
We look forward to meeting with and working alongside Timothy when we can; he is a considerate, kind and unassuming young man and we are honoured to have a small role in his life.
Written By: Pauline Kaye
Date: April 25, 2020