April 2, 2015
Dear Madam President:
Happy Easter to you and your family and all good will Liberians worldwide. As we Christians celebrate the most memorable time of the year, where our Lord willingly paid a price He did not owe, I hear the melody “IF I CAN HELP JUST ONE SOMEBODY THEN MY LIVING ON THIS EARTH WILL NOT BE IN VAIN”.
Nine years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a distant 13 year-old relative who had a cardiac problem at the Peace Ward at JFK. However, next to her was another child of the same age and same diagnosis.
My relative was a little weak when I arrived to get her medical record which I had requested for, but the other child said to me I hope you can help me also. I walked around to the beds to greet the other kids and their parents, some in tears, so I rushed out of the room and down the stairs to allow my tears to flow, puzzled what I would do. But I was certain I could not have taken my relative without the other child. As it ended up, I was able to airlift both of them within a week, and have since continued from that day nine years ago, through tough times, with over 200 children served.
I am sure you are wondering by now why am I now writing you after nine years of operations. I think as a proud Liberian woman, walking in your footstep of positivity, a proud mother and grandmother, counting my blessings daily I am at the cross roads, and need a hand to continue, especially when the precious lives of our dear Liberian children are at stake.
I strongly believe in “What can I do for Liberia” the only nation I have and love and am proud of and in which I am enjoying peace through UNMIL and your administration. I thank God always for His Grace, Mercy and plentiful Blessings over the years as I pledge to continually serve the vulnerable medically fragile children of Liberia.
I am ever thankful to my daughter, Dr. Clarice Ford-Kulah, Ph.D for her everlasting support to my humanitarian services over the years as well as all of my partners including Healing The Children, FL, GA; Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Look to the Word Ministries, Inc., Mercy Ships, Save A Child’s Heart/Israel, Halifax Children’s Hospital, University Klinikum Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Korle Bu Neuroscience Foundation (KBNF), The Rotary Club of Monrovia, and our own Liberia National Red Cross Socieyt (LNRCS).
Other partners are NASSCORP, Libtelco, LPRC, State radio- LBS, Power TV, Sky TV, Real TV, Hon. M. Gbezongar Findley, Ms. Leymah R. Gbowee, Hon. Clara Doe-Mvogo, Ms. Deddeh Howard, Mrs. Abigail Urey-Miller, Hon. Olu Banke King-Akerele, Hon. Emmanuel Bowier, Georgia Patern UMC, The Benson Street Mosque and The Daily Observer Managing Director who joined me and Jehovah Witness to provide fees to cover medical services, as well as free publicity that have brought me assistance for the care of the children over the years. Also partnering with us in this worthy cause are our Logistical Partners, UNMIL and Brussels Airlines.
The children I serve are vulnerable and due to the drawdown of UNMIL who willingly helped with free flights over the years, is a serious problem. Some lives have been lost; it is sad! No hospital or a donor is willing to help with the flying of a child/children, but covers the medical care. I permanently returned to Liberia in September, 2013 from Accra where I spent the last six years, airlifting the children for various medical services due to our own JFKMC continuous post-war medical incapability of state of the art machines for various diagnoses. Our doctors are ready for the tasks, but are limited due to state of the art equipment for diagnosis. When I learned of the JFDMH in Tappita, I was excited but let me inform you that for the past months even the CT Scan equipment has been broken. and also the fact that the children I serve parents cannot afford the fees coupled with the transportation. I must also inform you that when I had a case of a Cancer-eye toddler during the pre-EVD last year, I searched Monrovia for an ambulance to convey the child and mother, and there was none to use, and I had to use the Redlight Driver’s Union for a charter taxi service; I was pleased with their services. I also had to call upon Dr. Bernice Dahn, who I must say to you each time I have a child is most willing to call and get the fees waived, and I hold her in high esteem due to her willingness and no protocol response to my SOS calls, coupled with CMO Dr. Francis Kateh’s acceptance each time.
I am desperately in need of your assistance in asking UNHAS which is now in command of the UN flight to kindly allow the children to be flown to Ghana for services at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) for various diagnosis and surgeries. I must also thank Mr. Dorbor Jallah, who also willingly joined me after I shared with him the list and some photos of the children that need services and surgeries done in Accra, but was also refused by UNHAS that they do not fly children as their flights are EVD related. Liberia did not invite EVD and I ask God daily to eradicate it from our nation and the sub-region and allow us to live happily again. So I am surprised that UNHAS can state that children are not allowed. If you see them you will not believe they are even sick. UNMIL did not allow any children on board their flights but most willingly allowed the vulnerable children with Medical Records. They helped to save lives over the years. The parents, I and the children today can brag of a new lease on life due to their kindness of the flight. EVD and our JFKMC not being able to diagnose due to lack of state of the art equipments as well as host medical teams for major surgeries such as Cardiac, Cancer, etc. should be grounds for consideration. Allow me to share with you one of the many cases that have moved me to write this letter. There is a little 8-year-old girl that lost her sight due to a Tumor in her head. Last year March 25, 2014, she was given a letter from JFKMC to take to the JFDMH for a CT Scan, but as the grandmother knew she did not have US$200 for she could barely get to and from the hospital during the admission process due to poverty, she took it home and when the child was discharged she just let it go and the child lost her sight in May, 2014. I came across the child on January 5, 2015 and could not believe the sad story. When she brought the letter to me and I opened it for the first time.
I immediately called upon Dr. Dahn again as usual due to the fee attached and surprisingly I met her in the cafeteria at the MOH&SW finishing her lunch, and she as usual immediately picked up her phone after listening to me and called on the JFDMH, but was told immediately by CMO Kateh that the machine was broken. I had left the child at JFKMC with her grandmother to see Dr. Edward Guizzie, Eye Specialist so I returned back and told him, and he said that he is hopeful that she would regain her sight immediately or, it could be a gradual process due to time once the CT Scan is done and the tumor removed. It was then that I called upon UNHAS in my search knowing that UNMIL had drawn down. I did not hesitate to call upon my donor, Healing The Children, FL GA who immediately agree to pay for the CT Brain Scan, as done over the years paying for various heart/cardiac surgeries and many state of the art tests, and if surgery is possible would do the same based on their funding sources. Madam President, let me also inform you that most Liberians are Non humanitarians.
I can vividly recall when I called upon you once due to the conjoined twins and you asked me what assistance did I need, and I said I was in need of the airfare to be paid directly to Brussels in the amount of US$1,600.00 for the mother and the LNRCS Trauma Nurse Escort airfare from Brussels to JFK and return, as they covered the babies only as they are not an American bound flight. I remembered you said to Madam Wisseh and Protocol Dunn that they should go ahead with same, and I then excused myself. After 24 hours with no response from either of them I was helped by Mr. S. Osiboi Yahmia, Proprietor of M&Y, who had to pay it on my behalf as he sent me to get a loan from a money changer, when the father, Alex Wilson who work for Lonestar Cell company till this date when he was called to pay the fees due to his lying mother Orprah, said in an investigation done by Messers Flemming and Benson said he used the money to buy himself a car, and was immediately told by them that he was just a wicked young man as the management gave him a loan to do same upon my request. Madam President, Liberians are enemies to their own nation in most aspects, but I am relentless to my passion to help the vulnerable. I remember once when you were returning from Europe and the Manager of Brussels informed you that there was a 6-year-old little boy and his mother on board the flight returning from Save A Child’s Heart in Israel , a courtesy of Brussels by my medical evacuation and he wanted to bring him to greet you. You said no, I will go and greet him and his mother, and you left your VIP section and walked down the isle of the flight and did and I appreciated it so highly and it gave me more vigor to serve my people and I thanked you kindly via the Daily Observer.
I am also pleased to inform you that I just added another service being a Special Needs Daycare Center for children suffering from Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Downsyndrome that was launched March 30, 2015. I strongly believe that this will help curtail the constant abandonment at our various hospitals children with these disabilities, all due to poverty, but one human thing I see the parents love will not allow them to kill their children. I singlehandedly did it all to have it started, and now need the budget. I have submitted it to various international NGOs for help, including transport for the kids. This is because of the children’s conditions coupled with our mode of transportation being motorbike is not conducive. Nearly all the parents are poor. I am ever grateful for the collaboration of the MOH&SW, over the years, which I have kept abreast of every child airlifted for medical care. I am already enjoying the same collaboration with the newly emerged MOGC&SP Rehabilitation Department headed by the new Deputy Minister.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon in regards to airlifting for these children that cannot be helped due to our post-war medical incapability, and allowing the parents of these children to be able to use the services and stop the constant abandonment, as this is all done by me in my duty to serve and boast my First Female President of Africa image, as my quota to our nation Liberia.