Liberian Man's Hope for Health Lies with Locals

Three years ago, Philemon Samuels of Liberia was hit by a car and suffered serious injuries, including a ruptured urethra that has threatened his well-being and his life.

The husband and father of five has new hope thanks to a native of his homeland now residing in College Station, along with help from local leaders.

Saa McCarthy heard of Samuels' story four months ago through Liberian news outlets, and wanted to bring his new-found brother to America for treatment.

"It was heartbreaking," McCarthy said of Samuels' injuries, "and I started to make some phone calls. I didn't know who to talk to. I just started calling numbers, and eventually, I got in touch with Melissa Purl."

"At first, I thought he was a nut," Purl, who works for College Station Medical Center, said, "and then we started checking into this, and it was legitimate, and we had to do it. How could you not?"

Through the efforts of McCarthy and a cavalcade of help, the man who had spent every penny of his own to get well and keep his family fed got a trip to and treatment in America paid.

Purl and McCarthy credit the Russell family, Steve Harper at Brazos Valley Bank, and the A&M Health Science Center's Nancy Dickey with helping in the effort. John Happ with Easterwood Airport worked to make the travel plans possible.

Even Congressman Chet Edwards made a travel visa a reality, efforts for a man in need of help that his nation couldn't offer.

"Thank God for this country, this good country, and the people of this country, and I pray that God will always help you people make the country a great country," Samuels said.

"I think it's something that we felt we could do to help him, and that's what I think drove us all to continue to keep working we think he can be helped," Happ said.

The first examinations will take place for Samuels at Scott and White in Temple on Wednesday.

An account for donations for the Liberian is available at Brazos Valley Bank.

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