Theresa is a doctor from the USA who has been working in an MSF / Doctors without Borders clinic in Cambodia. As she comes to the end of her posting, an unexpected conversation sends her to a new country and a very different project...
"I frequently look for ways to get out from behind my desk and see the work we do. This past Sunday MSF had a blood drive in Aweil. I volunteered to go along and help. No, I was not putting needles in people's arms..."
'When I told people that I was headed overseas with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) I would sometimes get a quizzical look, and the comment: “I know your wife is a pediatric nurse, I didn’t know you were a doctor?”'
'I support a woman as she bears down, finally giving birth to her child. I dry and swaddle the crying infant and show his exhausted mother the beautiful little face and full head of hair. The midwife snatches the baby from me, unwrapping him to expose his genitals saying, “She wants to see that it’s a boy.” Boys are favored in this area, as they are in many regions of the world.'
'“This is the doctor,” said the son, pointing to me. The man in the bed made a weak attempt to greet me with his palms pressed together in the traditional Cambodian manner. “Hello,” I said, “may I listen to you?” He said yes. I listened to his faint breaths. He dozed off despite my prodding, the lids drawing like curtains over his yellow eyes.'