About Joseph and Josephine
Josephine and Joseph are two young adults who were brought to the United States from Lusaka, Zambia for medical treatment. They’ve traveled to Detroit for surgery on deformities that resulted from infections [Noma (cancrum oris)] in their mouths that destroyed skin, soft tissue, and bone when they were around three or four years old. These deformities have made their daily lives challenging, and we are going to provide them with the opportunity for life-changing surgeries.
For Josephine and Joseph, we are looking to raise $30,000, which will cover:
1. Visas, passports and other travel expenses - $2,000
2. Flights - $6,000
3. Housing/Food/Clothing - $6,000
4. Nursing Care - $12,000
5. Incidentals - $4,000
We – Surgicorps International – are a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals around the world through free surgical and medical care. Through our mission, we offer surgeries in countries where access to these services is not widely available, accessible nor affordable. Typically, we help individuals in their home countries, but this is a unique situation –– the complexity of Josephine's and Joseph’s medical problems and the lack of suitable facilities in Lusaka have prevented us from providing appropriate care for them "at home."
Making It Possible
We were fortunate to have been introduced to Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at William Beaumont and Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Detroit. Dr. Chaiyasate and his team have operated on other patients that he’s brought to Beaumont from all over the world, and he and Beaumont have graciously agreed to provide care for Josephine and Joseph and to cover all of the medical costs associated with this care!
How Donations Will Help These Individuals
To bring them to Detroit for treatment, Surgicorps will cover all of their travel expenses, including their visas, passports, and airfare, as well as housing for the duration of their stay. While they are here, we also want to ensure that they are best cared for on a personal level.
While they are away from family and friends and undergoing complex surgeries and lengthy recovery periods, it is important they are comfortable. For their medical care, they will be accompanied by a nurse from Lusaka, Mweldwa, who will not only help them acclimate to a dramatically different culture but will also provide much-needed assistance during their recoveries.
For their day-to-day comfort, Surgicorps will provide all food and any incidentals, such as clothing (it’ll be their first time needing warm clothing, so the fall/winter in Michigan will be quite a shock in itself), and anything else we feel they need to make their stay as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.
How Josephine and Joseph Feel About Their Journey to Michigan
Nerves and anxiety aside, Josephine and Joseph are excited…they’re excited for the opportunity to become functioning members of their respective societies, and also attain some degree of normalcy from an appearance standpoint. From a long-term standpoint, Josephine wants to go to nursing school, and Joseph would like to become a pastor.
They arrived in the United States on September 19, 2019, and their initial surgical procedures were done the week of October 6.
We don't know how long Joseph and Josephine will need to stay in the U.S., as their surgeries are complex. It is also difficult to predict the number of procedures needed for correction, as well as the length of recovery time. Additional surgery may need to be done in Detroit or when they return to Lusaka –– this is something that only time and healing will tell.
How to Help
While it’s not the first time we’ve brought patients to the U.S., it is a first for Surgicorps to source funding for surgeries outside host countries. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to help these individuals in the United States and address problems that could not be treated in their host country. If you are able to donate, you will be helping Josephine and Joseph fulfill their dreams...dreams of being "normal" and of being able to develop self-esteem and relationships without the stigma of their facial deformities. This is priceless!
You can donate through Crowdrise or by visiting the Surgicorps donation page and noting "Josephine and Joseph" in the description field.
Thank you - please check back for updates on Josephine's and Joseph's journeys.