In our work with the poor, we see so many dedicated men and women who have given up comfortable lives to help those in need — often moving to some of the most remote and dangerous places on the planet. The faith of these unsung heroes is a constant inspiration for us in the office. One of these heroes is Sr. Anna Trzepacz of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, who runs a clinic for remote mountain villagers in Ethiopia…
Sr. Anna Trzepacz was interrupted from dinner by a knock at the door. There had been an accident. A large bus had crashed and rolled down a nearby mountain, badly injuring 20 passengers. The men, women, and children from the bus had broken bones, deep cuts, and burns from the gasoline that had ignited after the crash.
“One man came to me and his face was covered with blood,” Sr. Anna said. “When he laid down on the examination table the skin on his scalp slid off. All that was left was his skull bone.”
She was alone except for an Ethiopian woman who had just begun nurses’ training, but she was too nervous to help. “Good thing there was a wall nearby or I would have fainted,” Sr. Anna said. “But the man needed my help so I had to keep going.”
Sr. Anna worked until 3 a.m. stitching people up and dressing wounds. Her work saved the lives of all but one man that day.
This is just one of many dramatic stories Sr. Anna has to tell about her work at Minne Health Post, which we support, and the clinic at the Weragu Catholic mission. The community she serves lies in a remote mountain stretch of central Ethiopia. The nearest hospital is 93 miles away and the nearest clinic is a full day’s walk through the mountains. She and another sister, who are both certified nurses, treat about 10,000 a year between the two health facilities. Without Sr. Anna and this clinic the people would have nowhere to turn for medical care.