August 20, 2019
What is Magnolia? It's a street near downtown Knoxville and on this street is a church that opens its doors every Monday to the East Tennessee Free Clinic. Dr. Janet Purkey (creator of Zazzy Bandz®) helps run this clinic along with several other volunteers where they provide medical aid to people with no insurance and those who are even homeless in the area.
Every Monday this place is a Godsend to those who have no other place to go. Janet and her medical students come together along with other volunteers, blessed with the talent to serve others, and help in a major way.
Today on Magnolia at the East Tennessee Free Clinic, Janet shares her day.
I have many to thank for special acts of kindnesses, but I’m narrowing it down to just two today. Maybe I can post more this week.
A senior at CAK, David Noakes came up with a genius idea! For his capstone senior service project, he contacted area assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. His goal was to create a clearinghouse for durable medical equipment when the clients at the facility no longer need them. He and his mom have already collected items such as wheelchairs, rollators, and walkers. These items are stored at Magnolia Avenue Methodist Church for distribution by East Knox Free Medical Clinic volunteer staff.
David’s idea brought smiles to administrators who like the idea of having a positive answer for such bulky items they no longer need. His plan creates smiles for people in need who don’t have insurance or other resources to procure items when needed.
The cool thing is, he wants to keep it simple. See a need - answer the call. You don’t have to be a patient at EKFMC, but you do need to let us know if we can help someone you know. Many thanks to Clemence Noakes for your tireless effort in helping David and EKFMC.
Then there’s Dorothy and Dale! Together they maintain a “well-oiled” clinic in the Dominican Republic through IMA - International Medical Alliance of Tennessee! They travel to the DR every month or so with teams of nurses, physicians, surgeons, and NPs to render care to the unserved. They also travel once a year to Kenya to serve an otherwise unreached village. They package up a year’s worth of BP & diabetes meds as well as vitamins and nonnarcotic pain meds.
Today, Dorothy asked for my help but she was more than capable of diagnosing our new patient. Dorothy, “NP-extraordinaire,” was in her element caring for this frightened woman with severe lymphedema of both legs. Dorothy has seen this many times in her medical missions. Although the cause of the swelling may be different, the result is a painful swelling that impedes walking during the day and her sleep at night.
Together we irrigated and cleaned her legs. The patient’s fears seemed extreme until I better understood the concerns when she said, "So, I don’t have gangrene? I’m not going to lose my legs? Thank you, Jesus, it’s a miracle.”
Dorothy had two Unna boots with zinc oxide to aid in healing both legs. The fear in our Patient’s eyes quickly left when she decided to trust us. The “look in her eyes” was replaced with one of joy as we wrapped her severely swollen legs. She could hardly believe we were not only not causing pain, but that she felt better when she stood after the wrapping was complete.
She slipped on her shoes seemingly ready to face the world. Her smile made my day. Her conversation became more positive, she had hope of seeing improvement. Dorothy connected with her in a way that cements in my heart, that what we do- one on one, by one or more- has an impact beyond that moment.
I wish you the sort of satisfaction with your day, no matter where and how you serve.
Janet Purkey (Creator of Zazzy Bandz)
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