For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love

I thought about sharing a reflection about my own mother and grandmother today but came across this blog posting about a rural mother and her ill son.  So, I decided to share this moving story which is more representative of South Africa and the struggles parents face who live in these deeply remote communities.

Barefoot Whispers

I have amazing women in my life – a wonderful mother, grandmother and aunts. I have written about them before, so this Mother’s Day I am sharing a story I have told them, and I know they won’t mind it as a tribute to all mothers.

My rural Family Medicine rotation earlier this year was not just rural – it was classified as DEEP rural. The majority of the people living in the area had no water or electricity. Many of them had pulmonary disease, despite never having smoked – the so-called hut-lung disease. The nearest referral hospital was more than two hours away and was reached by traveling roads with near-dongas as potholes.

Most of our patients were unemployed, or otherwise self-employed as subsistence farmers who struggled to subsist. Almost none of them had cars, and so when we did refer them to the “nearby” hospital they were…

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