The photo below was taken on his twenty first birthday here in Techiman. I am still amazed how he survived to live to twenty one. Eric was hit by a car when he was a small boy. He was diagnosed as dead but was later found miraculously still breathing. He has spent years in and out of hospitals and the accident left him with multiple injuries and a paraplegic. He has had numerous surgeries and been in multiple hospitals in Ghana. Eric has been deprived of food and water for many days. His body has been ravaged with a serious infection, (chronic osteomyelitis) for years, and has had massive weeping, open abscesses on his body. He has had frequent severe pain from the infection. He has lived in squalor and attempted suicide. In spite all of this he has survived. Eric would be one of the bravest, most grateful, determined, funny, young man I have ever known. Eric has a firm testimony of Gods existence and love for him. He is bright and has learned to speak English, (albeit with a Kiwi accent), and to read and write in less then a year.
On the seventh of July Eric flew to the US for life saving, and we pray life changing surgery. Through the generosity of Dr Kimball Crofts who heads HART Africa, and his assembled team of specialists, (other surgeons and specialists who donated their skills and expertise), and Intermountain Health Care, Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, all Eric’s surgery and medical needs were covered pro bono. Eric was admitted to the Utah Valley Hospital on Monday the 10th of July. The next day he had surgery headed by Dr Crofts which was about a two an a half hour procedure. He has since had a further procedure which was six hours of surgery. This was flap surgery to cover the open wounds that he has had on his body for many years. These wounds leaked putrid fluid in large amounts and he was constantly wet from them. Eric is in great spirits and recovering well. Hopefully next week he will be moved to a post acute care rehabilitation centre. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for Dr Crofts and all those incredible people who have given of their time, their skills and support for Eric. We sincerely thank Intermountain Health Care for their very generous gift of free hospital services for Eric. Utah Valley Hospital where Eric is staying he described as a hotel when we wheeled him in. He also said it doesn’t smell and there are no coachroaches. We are eternally grateful to all the medical staff that have given this gift to Eric.
Left Katie Crofts in the Ghanaian print apron, Dr Kimball Crofts MD Plastic Surgeon and Becky Berry. These three people met Eric when they came to Ghana with HART Africa, a humanitarian medical team in August last year. Dr Crofts operate on Eric and tried to rid his body of the osteomyelitis. He said that when he returned to the US he would endeavour to help Eric, and he is a man of his word.