Two of Kaufman County’s own were providing medical care to orphans and vulnerable children in Asia. Many of the youth in the area’s children's homes/orphanages are stateless - they aren’t officially Thai and lack proper documentation that allow them access to the public health system. So, some Kaufman and Terrell doctors stepped in.
During their one week trip in July, Ben Brashear of Brashear Family Medical in Kaufman and Junior Osinde of Osinde Family Dentistry in Terrell visited seven youth homes/orphanages to treat over 200 kids.
Addressing problems from nutrition to emotional health, these doctors met both physical and intangible needs. “About 90 percent of the kids needed a more involved procedure than I was able to perform this time. I’m excited to recruit more help and return next year,” Osinde said.
In fact, at one of the youth homes, Brashear completed medical checks like blood pressure, physicals and took life-changing action. After a conversation caused him some concern, he performed a blood test with one of the dorm dads and found his sugar levels tested at 400. In the United States officials would hospitalize him. He has a family history of diabetes and wasn’t taking care of himself, so Brashear left him supplies to check his blood pressure and take care of himself for a year.
Through his gentle encouragement and honest conversation, Dr. Brashear helped the dorm dad connect some dots: if he didn’t take care of himself, even though he is super busy and might think he is neglecting one of the kids under his care, he would get much worse and possibly get so sick he couldn’t care for any of them nor himself. The dad continues to check his blood levels each day and follows up with the staff from one of the local orgs. His numbers have lowered as he continues to change his diet.
One local relief worker recognized the benefits these doctors brought. Adam Griffith, director of Prosperous Youth Foundation, a Thai foundation, said, “I know it is a huge sacrifice to come. They have practices, staff to pay, insurance costs, things that don’t stop when they get on the plane - oh, and the cost of the plane ticket - but the impact they made in a short time was tangible. Each youth home leader quickly moved from confusion - you have doctors that are willing to come and treat our kids for free? - to sheer delight. The youth home staff work very hard to make sure the children God entrusted in their care have the best quality of life possible, but many factors here work against them. It was a lot of fun to be a part of this process and handle logistics for Ben and Junior.”
Griffith has been working in Thailand as a relief worker for six years with his wife, Kristy, who grew up in Mesquite.