Some of you know that Mickey and I lost a dear Zambian friend quite suddenly a few months ago. We were at home in NC when we received a text message that Beauty, wife of Lyson, had died. I insisted that there was some mistake and that it must have been her mother who died. We had been in Africa recently and Beauty wasn’t sick but was terribly concerned that her mother wasn’t well. Mickey sent a return text and asked for clarification. The answer came back that Beauty was, indeed, dead–no diagnosis, just “her body was tired.” How could that be? She was only in her late 30’s/early 40’s with 2 young children still at home. She just suddenly died because her body was tired?
Today, Mickey and I returned to Serenje from Lusaka after being away for a few days purchasing building supplies. When we arrived I was met at the van by Martin, one of the young workers at Mapontela, who had come to help us with our bags. When I asked about his week he told me that he had been away from work while we were gone because his 3 year old brother died. Had he been sick for a long time? What happened? Was it malaria? ( Martin, himself, had malaria a couple of months ago.) “No, we don’t know what was wrong. He was sick for 3 days with a cough and a headache, and then he died.” No diagnosis–he just died.
It is likely that in both of these cases these lives could have easily been saved if they had lived in the US. We have reason to believe that Beauty may have been diabetic, and Martin’s little brother may have died as a result of any one of a number of things that kill small children on the continent of Africa everyday–things that are easily treated in our country
It is sad to realize that people–really fine, caring people–live and die this way everyday without the basics of care that we can count on in our country. Please pray for the people of Zambia–and other parts of the world–who suffer because of poverty that makes access to good medical care impossible.