Face swelling… loss of sensation in his hands and feet… after several years of ill health, Joao had no idea what was happening to him. His worried wife took him to hospital… where he was diagnosed with leprosy.
Because of your support, Joao was able to start Multi Drug Therapy but suffered due to a side effect of leprosy called reaction – an immune system response to leprosy bacteria.
If you’re among the one in three leprosy patients like Joao who experience this kind of reaction, you need special drugs. Otherwise, you’re at risk of extensive nerve damage and disability.
Joao suffered severe inflammation with symptoms such as fever, pain, weakness and loss of sensation. “I find it difficult to walk sometimes. The soles of my feet are very sensitive and painful and then at other times I don’t have any feeling in my feet at all.”
Your generosity meant Joao could receive the treatment he needed to fight reaction. But then came another problem. Patients aren’t supposed to take reaction drugs on an empty stomach… and Joao needed nutritious food to build up his immune system.
Joao was struggling to buy enough food to eat. Because of leprosy, he had been unable to work for six months. Which was disastrous for a man already struggling in poverty. So workers from The Leprosy Mission visited Joao at home, bringing pumpkins, bananas and other nutritious food to help with the healing process.
Joao is now making good progress with his recovery and is so grateful to supporters like you. Living in Timor Leste, he could not have received help anywhere else, because The Leprosy Mission is the only international organisation working with leprosy patients in the country. Without you, Joao may have developed permanent disability or deformities. Instead, we hope you’ll join us in praying for his complete healing!
If you’d like to support other leprosy affected people in Timor Leste like Joao, please FREECALL 1800 537 767 to donate or go to the Your Projects page at www.leprosymission.org.au.