It was 1972. We were newly married doctor couple moved from India to Uganda E.Africa. I was in surgical training and my wife in Ob-Gyn. During the second month, when I was on call for the ER, a six year old female child was brought in by her grandfather (a tribal chief with two of his "body guards" holding spears) with severe right sided abdomonal pain and high fever. A diagnosis of acute appendicits was made. The decision to perform sugery was made after consulting the cheif surgeon. The cheif surgeon advised that he was "by the phone" and to go ahead and perform the surgery. 

The grand father and his guards were in the operating room watching me closely when with my pounding heart I finished the surgery. The next day the fever broke and the child was begging to eat food. She got well and was sent home on the fourth day.

When Idi Amin, then the President of Uganda wanted everyone who was not a black Ugandan to leave the country, we decided to leave the country. We had heard stories of harassment and looting of personal effets on the way to the airport by the rougue soldiers.With great fear we were on our way to the airport. On the way we were stopped by these rouge soldiers and were questioned. Suddenly two of the same "body guards" appered from the bushes with their spears. The soldiers retracted and waved us through. On the airport, the tribal chief was waiting for us with two six foot tall beautifully carved elephant tusks as gift. We politely refused and left for USA.

To this day, this kind geature of saving our lives left us so impressed, I have had an open door policy of not refusing anyone needing medical care for free. I continue to conduct free clinics twice a month in our city. Pay it forward. Who knows when you wll be rewarded by someone whom have never met.

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