The Story of Julietta, in Angola

From Mel West:
When I was a child in Sunday School I learned of a terrible disease called leprosy. I thought no more about it until the PET was developed and I received an inquiry from the American Leprosy Association in North Carolina. I had a meeting in that area, loaded a PET on my pickup, and stopped in at their office. Only the secretary was there, so I unloaded the PET and left it for their appraisal. The next week they called, much excited about its potential for those affected by leprosy, and that began a series of shipments. I tell you about one recipient named Julietta:
Her photo in my book, “The AlphaPET Book,” shows a woman with one leg gone at the knee, and with half the other foot gone. Her fingers are just short stubs. Leprosy will continue, slowly, to cause its dry decay to all extremities–fingers, ears, nose, etc. Julietta wrote, “I was never able to use a prosthesis, and my stub fingers could not roll a standard wheelchair. With the PET I could crank it and had mobility..’
Before the PET Julietta had to crawl to her garden, dragging garden tools behind her. With the PET she can haul all items and haul produce back home.
She wrote, “I grow sweet potatoes, maize (corn) and cabbage. Everything helps me feed my family. If my daughter has enough of these she will sell some at the market, so we can buy oil, soap or salt,”
I am deeply grateful that in the Sunday School of my childhood I learned compassion for such as those with leprosy. I am deeply sad at the decline of our churches and the empty children’s classrooms.
Mel West

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