Liberian Resident Begins Treatment in Temple

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Tuesday, Philemon Samuels of Liberia made the long trip to the United States in hopes of receiving some much needed medical help.

Many local supporters, including Saa McCarthy, made the trip a possibility.

"He didn't know me from anyone. He saw my story and decided to help me because he took interest in my story, and he fights a good fight," Philemon Samuels said about McCarthy. "Because of his fight, you're seeing me here."

Samuels suffered a devastating pelvic injury that has plagued him the last three years.

Wednesday morning, Samuels began the long road which could finally lead to recovery at Scott & White in Temple.

"We're going to need to do a lot of things today," Scott & White Urologist Dr. Erin Bird told Samuels.

After filling out medical history forms, Samuels heads off for a series of checkups that could help doctors determine if they can give him back what life took away.

"He was hit by a drunk driver. His pelvis was crushed," Bird said. "He had some type of bladder or urethral injury. We're not sure."

Samuels now wears a catheter everywhere he goes, and his life has been forever changed since the accident.

"His friends or some relatives were telling him to take his own life, that there's no hope," McCarthy said. "That part really broke my heart."

Reconstructive surgery is Samuels' hope of returning to normalcy.

"What it involves is we take where the urine comes out of the bladder and have to find that opening, then reconnect it to the urethra that you would normally void out of," Bird explained.

As Dr. Bird reviews Samuels X-rays, they reveal previous fractures in the pubic bone that have been causing Samuels trouble. Bird hopes to correct that.

"This is why people go into medicine. There are just certain circumstances like that you feel compelled to truly help out with," Bird said.

Samuels feels all the local support he has received has been divinely inspired.

"I believe that God brought me here to get well," Samuels said.

The coming days will tell more as to whether U.S. doctors and technology could make all difference.


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