We Are Not Superheroes

Guest blog by Dr. Yuliana Jeng

A couple weeks ago, when I was doing my daily routine work as a doctor in the clinic, I met him. He is Mr. Helmi, our 40 year old patient with a very bad foot infection. I remember him because he left a deep impression on me. How can I forget him? I still can remember the day when he came.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 was the first day when he was showed up at the ASRI clinic. Although Tuesday is not usually as busy as Monday, there were a lot of patients that day. Because of that we were late for lunch. After lunch, when we came, he was waiting in the emergency room. He came with high fever, chills, redness, and swelling with pus on his left 1/3 distal shin for two weeks. His temperature when we measured it was 39 degrees Celsius. Random blood sugar was 386 mg/dL (more than three times normal indicating poorly-controlled diabetes). He had already gone to the closest referral hospital in Ketapang. The Internist had recommended amputation because they feared the abscess would spread to other parts of his leg but he refused. Then he heard about ASRI from his relative. His relative recommended him to come here because ASRI is the best quality standard of care and he was afraid to lose his leg. He hoped ASRI could make a miracle for him.

When we were exploring his wound, we found the abscess was deep and we thought it already infected to his bone. After a long discussion among us and an Infectious Disease Consultant from Stanford, we hospitalized him for a month and gave him antibiotic shots for 4 weeks and then switched it to oral for 2 weeks with very careful wound care every day. A miracle happens. Slowly but sure, his abscess was cured. He was very pleased with what we have done.

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Mr. Helmi bringing sand to help the clinic after heavy rainfall | Photo: Jesse Turner

Before he saw it himself, he thought that ASRI is a religion mission foundation from the West and belonged to a Western country. Then I explained it to him. My explanation made him understand. He is going to tell all his relatives and colleagues about what ASRI has done. As a sign of gratitude, one day ASRI’s front yard was very muddy after the rain and he sent a truck full of sand to help. He also brought us a box of food.

I remembered one day our former volunteer asked me, what kind of movie do I like? I said, “Superhero.” I love superhero movies because superheroes are very cool. Superheroes can save people. I think everyone has a dream. A dream to make a difference. To do something. To save life. This is what I want to say. We are ASRI. We are not a superhero. We are just like ordinary people that want to make differences. To save lives and give hope.

The ASRI clinic is able to provide such high quality care to patients because of your support. Help us take it a step further by donating to the Community Hospital and Training Center so that patients will no longer have to be referred elsewhere for medical care.

About Yuliana Jeng

Yuli is an Indonesian doctor at the ASRI Clinic and is based in Sukadana, West Kalimantan.

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