What’s YOUR Story of Compassion?
October 1st, 2012 by INMED
By what metric should we evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare among those who are poor? We could measure health data, like child mortality and life expectancy. We could also measure health knowledge or literacy – the degree to which people understand their medical conditions. But it is neither data nor knowledge that most compels action. Rather, it is accounts of humanity and heroism. Amber Griffioen, INMED student at Broadwell Christian Hospital in India, recounts:
“A poor, single, sixteen-year old girl from the Dalit caste (the lowest valued caste) came into my clinic with her parents. They were quite concerned because the girl hadn’t menstruated for three months. They were scared that no one would want to marry her if she wasn’t regular. It’s shameful for the families if they can’t marry off their daughters. We discovered that the daughter was pregnant – a cause of great shame for a family. The parents were adamant that the only option was to abort the baby.
“Dalit caste people like this girl are often mistreated and abused. She was so uneducated she may not even realize how she got pregnant. The female Indian doctor tried to convince them not to have an abortion. She offered for the daughter to come live in the dorm at Broadwell Christian Hospital and train to be a nurse’s assistant. The doctor would then help her to find a home for her baby.
“This act of love will prevent the baby’s life from being taken and prevent the family from being scorned by their community. Through this example of compassion I’ve learned that healthcare is not just about meeting the physical needs of a person, but rather their holistic needs. It’s not just providing a service, but rather solidarity with humanity.”
What’s your own story of compassion? What experience of rescue, care, or capacity building has inspired you? We invite you to share your accounts with us. Please post your story of compassion in action on the INMED Facebook Group or email your comments to [email protected]
By what metric should we evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare among those who are poor? Perhaps the most telling is the transformation that occurs within the hearts of people thus engaged. Observes Amber Griffioen, “My transforming experience in India with the Broadwell Christian Hospital team compels me to return. But this time I’m also committed to learning the Hindi language and to staying for at least a year.”