The following report by Terrie Cross illustrates how social service groups in Scott County, Tennessee frequently cooperate to stabilize families who have sunk so low that their only hope is for Christian charity. In this case, Morgan Scott Project for Cooperative Christian Concerns (MSP), Appalachian Life Quality Initiative (ALQI), and The Remote Area Medical Clinic (RAM) in Scott County are working together, each in their special way, to help a mother with two small children to relieve their suffering, regain their health, establish a reasonable standard of living, and eventually, restore their dignity. (For pictures of the work in progress visit our Facebook page Morgan Scott Project for Cooperative Christian Concerns)
This is not the first time this site has reported such cooperation between social service agencies in this poverty-stricken area. Our confidence in the work being done here is why we continue to advocate that individuals and churches support these efforts. As always, the ultimate goal of this work is to eventually make these families and individuals contributors to the community.
Remote Area Medical (RAM) – Home visit June 21-22, 2014
It took us an hour to get there—but what is an hour when someone on the other end is suffering and down about as low as a person can get? After assembling a physician, medic, volunteers, and drivers, the team set off to help a mother and her 5 and 1-year-old sons.
We arrived to find a mission team from Michigan (working in conjunction with the Morgan-Scott Project of Deer Lodge, TN) at the house building a storage shed and shelving inside the home. The mission group included teens and adult chaperones. This was the third mission team to work on this one project. They had put a new siding on the house; added a roof and railing to a wrap-around porch; and were putting the finishing touches on the shed. Inside there were young people putting a shelf over the kitchen sink beside new cabinets, sink, and counter top. When the first team arrived the floor was made of old boards; there was no running water or kitchen cabinets/counter, or bathroom. The house now has been completely rewired, has new walls, ceiling, inside running water, a bathroom, washer, a completed kitchen, kitchen table, curtains, and linoleum floor. A portion of the mission group was also upstairs in the bedroom putting finishing touches there and helping organize and clean up the clutter that had acquired.
A lady physician with the most wonderful personality walked into the house and went straight to the baby who was sitting on the couch. Being careful not to hinder the feeding tube attached to the stomach area, she held him in her arms and talked to the mother. The baby boy was a year old, had a cleft pallet and feeding tube. He could not use his legs at all and one had a bad red sore on it. In talking with the mother she found that surgery had been performed on the baby’s mouth and that she had been putting ointment on the leg sore. She also learned that therapy for the baby’s unresponsive legs had been denied by the Medicaid insurance. The mother showed the doctor how she exercised the baby’s legs herself (bicycle pumping action).
Next the mother was examined and showed the doctor an area under her arm that was bothering her, and the doctor determined it was a staph infection. The doctor also looked at her teeth and confirmed the need of extensive dental care, as all her teeth were decayed beyond repair. The 5-year-old boy was determined to be healthy at this time and in no need of medical assistance. The mission group that was on site working construction just happened to have 3 registered nurses in their group. When asked, these ladies became instant Florence Nightingales. The physician asked them to find dressing and attend to the sore on the baby’s leg. They were more than willing to help.
The next day Stan Brock, along with a dentist, his nurse wife, an optometry student, videographer, and 3 volunteers arrived at the house finding the mother hanging up clothes to dry on a new clothesline on her new front porch. The 5 year old had his fishing pole with a stick tied to it (representing a fish) and was still casting. A volunteer had repaired the pole the day before. The 1-year-old boy was propped up on the couch, the same as the day before. The child did not react or fuss either of the two days we were there.
Stan Brock greeted the mother and talked with her about her situation and then offered to assist her with dental and eye care. It wasn’t long before the 3 family members had their eyes checked and the mother was ready to have all her upper teeth extracted by the surgeon. Utilizing his wife/nurse as his assistant, it didn’t take the skilled dentist long. The grandmother was there to help her daughter after the surgery.
Stan Brock stated that RAM would return to provide more assistance to this mother and two children. She has more teeth that need to be attended to and will need upper dentures. The Scott County Dental Clinic will make the impressions and provide the dentures and RAM will pay for them. Her income is $710 a month. She needs help with the paperwork to secure coverage of therapy for the baby and will need gas for her car in getting the baby to therapy/doctors. The mother has an older model car but she has to start it with a screwdriver and it was setting there with no gas.
It was determined that Morgan-Scott Project was temporarily paying a couple months of her insurance payments (I believe that was $58 a month) but further financial aid is needed to stabilize this family. Morgan-Scott had also provided some food and cleaning supplies for the new kitchen. ALQI has a crib to replace the outgrown bassinet as well as diapers and some clothing for the family. Ella Smith, Executive Director of Morgan-Scott Project, is the contact person for this family. 423-965-3131
Organizations working on this project: RAM, Morgan-Scott Project, and Appalachian Life Quality Initiative
The Remote Area Medical Clinic in Scott County, TN on June 21-22, 2014 saw 650 patients with a value of $377,347.44. Scott County continues to have the highest unemployment (4 years) in the state of TN.
Report by Terrie Cross, Executive Director of Appalachian Life Quality Initiative (ALQI)