In May, 2012, TEAM was able to bring our vision to life by going to Kipkaren, Kenya to work at a hospice called Living Room. Living Room was founded off Mother Teresa’s mission of offering comfort, hope and loving care to those who would otherwise die alone. Instead, the beautiful result is that many patients with terminal illnesses are thriving, not dying. However, the diseases they fight have resulted in a severe lack of mobility.
Jeff and his team – his daughter, Alexandra, a college student and official photographer for the group, and Natalie Forsberg, a recent physical therapist graduate of Western University – spent five days at Kipkaren. They worked with patients and trained staff, particularly Felix, a Kenyan physical therapist.Over the course of the trip, a few days were spent just with children, whose parents brought them from miles away for a chance at hope. The children had a variety of neurological and orthopedic disorders.
The team assessed patients, provided treatment and created a home exercise programs.One day was spent out in the community, calling on patients in their homes. The team also spent two days training the Living Room staff on transfers, body mechanics, and lymphedema management.And for the sheer joy of it, Jeff, Nat and Alex spent part of a day at the orphanage in Kipkaren where children, most of whom were orphaned by HIV/AIDS, have found a new home and loving caregivers instead of being left to fend alone.
We hope that the pictures will give you a glimpse into our experience, but more than that, into the lives of all who are touched by Living Room.