Friday, October 3, 2008

Studying at the Clinic

Susan has been attending school for just about a month now. She is studying math, geography, English and science, just to name a few. Here she is studying at the clinic in her new red uniform. The other picture is also at the clinic, with a volunteer and a child who attends the Ddegeya school, in the blue uniform. As you can see, she is happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Susan Starts School

This is a very exciting week for all of us, but most importantly, for Susan. On Monday, September 15th, Susan went back to school for the first time in many years. She will be attending a daily school from now until the end of January. This school will help prepare her for the big day in February when she transfers to the boarding school that she will attend until she graduates. She is so happy to have the opportunity to prepare for February and is taking her studying very seriously. These pictures are of Susan on her first day at the Sydney Paul Primary School.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saying Goodbye for Now: Tunalabagana

John and Susan made it to the airport safely and boarded their flight around 1:30pm. They will travel through Newark and Amsterdam before landing in Uganda. They will travel approximately 28 hours in all, and be home around 8pm on Wednesday night, Ugandan time. Words cannot describe the success and scope of the past four months. It has been a long journey filled with friends, love and much healing. We will continue to post updates on Susan as she starts phase two of her new life in Uganda. Thank you all. Webale.

Day Before Leaving

Susan and John spent their last day in Boston getting packed and ready to leave. We did have a chance to stop by Karibu and say good bye to Amina. We also took some food to go and had a lovely Ugandan meal for our last night together. Packing and last minutes errands took most of the day, but we spent the time together. The top picture is John, Susan and Amina. The bottom picture is the Lamont family, Kevin, Pat, and Meredith, with John.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thank you to Albany

Today, Susan and John left Albany and said good-bye for now. We would like to thank everyone in New York for their support and help along the way. The friendships made will last forever. The top picture is with Dr. Bob, the middle with the ladies, and the bottom with the "kids." Susan and John are now heading back to Boston to get ready for their journey home on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shriner's Follow Up, Wednesday

This is Susan and her surgeon, Dr. Simon.
Dr. Simon performed the second surgery and checked the progress
on Wednesday. He said that everything looks perfect, and is healing the way they had hoped. Susan will still have to wear a conformer and special shirt for the next six months until the healing is complete.
The second picture is one of our wonderful care coordinators, Sandy. Sandy has been so helpful and provided John with the paperwork needed for Uganda. Thank you both.
(Susan may need one last visit on Monday.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cookout on Sunday

Susan is feeling well, opening up and speaking so much English. She has learned much over the past 3 months. Her wounds are healing slowly but she now seems free of pain. She has made many new friends and all of New York has fallen in love with both John and Susan.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trip to Albany

Susan and John traveled to New York this week where they will be staying with the Weinman family for a bit. They will be meeting many of the families in Albany who have been supporting this journey. Here are Susan and Sarah Weinman as they hang out in the backyard after baking earlier in the day and then playing a gentle game of badmitten. The Weinmans are loving having them as part of their family for awhile.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Healing

Susan relaxes after a long day at Shriner's. She is very happy to be out of both immobilizers, although she is still very bandaged from the waist up. Her next follow up appointment is Wednesday, August 20th, and the doctor will check the progress of her healing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shriner's Clinic Appointment

Susan and Melissa, her wonderful care coordinator.

Susan had an extremely successful day at Shriner's on Wednesday. Her stint was removed from her chest and upper abdomen and it looks great. She is still bandaged tightly but out of her immobilizers. She can now bend her right leg and is no longer in the chest cast. Everyone at Shriner's was very pleased with the results, as was Susan. She was nervous this morning, but is now very very happy. The picture in the middle includes Sandy, Melissa, and our nurse today at Shriner's. The bottom picture is Susan before her stint was removed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, Donor Site

Here you can see the donor site healing on Monday. As it heals, the gauze and fluid are removed and the skin is left to return to its natural color. It is still sore, but much improved. You can see that Susan does not look as though she has too much pain today.

Sunday Out

Susan felt up to getting out of the house for a few hours on Sunday. We went to a high school production of 42nd St. and Susan loved the tap dancing. We were lucky enough to request the front row of the balcony and able to keep Susan's leg straight during the whole show. Then, we headed to Friendly's for our post theater meal. It is great to see that Susan's pain has almost gone away and she is feeling so much better than last week.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Here Susan sits and works on putting her pictures into her photo album. She is definitely feeling much better than earlier in the week. We may even get out of the house over the weekend if she is up to it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Susan is feeling better today. It has been a slow week of recovery but the pain seems to be going away. She is still in her two immobilizers but is moving a little faster and laughing a little more. She spent today watching TV, reading, and knitting.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


This is Susan resting on Sunday. It has been a weekend of staying in bed or on the couch as her leg and chest heal. She is in some pain and very sleepy much of the time.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Home to Recover

Susan was discharged from Shriner's on Friday. Here she is during first few hours at home. You can see her new donor site on her left leg, which was used for the grafting on her abdomen and chest. She is wearing a cast on her upper body and an immobilizer on her right leg. She will be resting a lot over the next week or two. It hurts her to laugh so we should not have watched Mr. Bean, but we did anyway.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Second Surgery

The second surgery was a success. This is Susan coming out of the operating room this afternoon. She will be on bed rest at Shriner's for a few more days. Her doctors said she did extremely well and her spirits are good. She is in some pain so she will likely sleep most of this evening and feel better in the morning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Check In at Shriner's

Susan and John made it back to Shriner's today for round two. This is in the parking lot before check in and later, reading and resting before surgery in the morning. Susan is a little nervous but also excited.

Back to Boston

Susan gets ready to unpack after a successful trip back from Portland, OR.
One day at home and then it is back to Shriner's for surgery number two.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Snow & Submarines!

Several members of the Providence team spent the day with John and Susan on Sunday playing in the snow on Mt. Hood and exploring some of the nearby forests and snow-melt streams. The day was spectacular, and the snow pleasantly overwhelming for our Ugandan guests!

The previous day was spent back at OMSI watching another IMAX movie, followed by a tour of the USS Blueback which is permanently moored there.

Susan's leg continues to heal beautifully, with one tiny patch (approx. 2 cm) remaining that seems to have a timetable of its own and is testing John's patience!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008


The pictures below document the healing of Susan's right leg. The first picture, taken June 4th, was the day her graft was removed. The next, taken June 9th, shows how raw and vulnerable this new skin became as it adjusted to her body. The rest, taken in the weeks following, show the amazing ongoing healing.


Susan's Holiday Weekend

We continue to stay very busy with John and Susan, exposing them to as much as possible during their West Coast stay.

David Robinson, who went with the Providence team to Uganda was kind enough to host a festive and scrumptious backyard barbecue that was attended by a fascinating group of people from far-flung places including Brazil and Austria. He's pictured here seated next to Sallie Tisdale who led the mission early this year.

After the party we all came home and enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display from the deck of our condo.

Within the last week Susan has experienced two films at IMAX (one of which left her a bit queasy and another that found her reflexively pulling her injured leg back from the jaws of a huge prehistoric shark that seemed about to swim into her lap!) and also the amazing (and highly recommended) Wall E flick from Pixar.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday at the Zoo

Susan had a splendid day today seeing many of the exotic wild animals of the world at the Portland zoo. Her favorites were the zebras and the baboons with the funny noses.

Above you'll see Heidi trying unsuccessfully to impress
Susan with her uncanny ability to walk with her eyes closed and not fall or crash into anything.
Good thing we took lots of photos, since Heidi missed it all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Susan and Heidi take a tour of Papa Haydn's bakery cooler -- A very pleasant place to be with temps in the 90s!

Susan and Heidi explore the map

Getting a sense for where she is and from where she came relative the the rest of the world. Her surgical wounds continue to improve every day!

Monday, June 30, 2008

John and Susan's First Day in Oregon

John and Susan arrived in the Rose City just before midnight on Saturday. We were up 'til the wee hours catching up on all that's been happening in our respective lives. So good to see John again and to meet the lovely Susan!

After a traditional American breakfast of bacon, eggs, homefries, fresh-squeezed juice and assorted fruit, we were off for a tour of the Columbia Gorge. J & S are pictured here in front of the lower tier of Multnomah Falls -- The second largest in the country.

Here's Susan with her new host family -- Jeff and Heidi Van Dyke.

Susan's new favorite movie is "The gods must be crazy." Plenty of the requisite slapstick, and shot in her neck of the woods to boot!