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The Faith Fund for Special Needs

This fund was named for Faith, one of the first children to be treated at Tenwek’s Special Needs Clinic, which opened in 2015. Born with spina bifida, Faith spent the first seven years of her life at home crawling on her hands and knees. After evaluation at the SNC, she was fitted with special shoes and a pediatric walker and her life was transformed. Today, Faith is thriving and attending school where she has reached Grade 3 and is a stellar student. She walks with the assistance of forearm crutches and leg braces which, because of her growing body, need replacement twice a year.

Donations to the Faith fund are used to cover SNC costs, including therapy visits and adaptive equipment – expenses that the children’s families cannot afford. Last year, FOT’s more than $20,000 of support included the purchase of 34 wheelchairs suitable for rural terrain – each one representing God’s love and providing a child with the opportunity to engage life in an exciting new way.

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Radiology Continues to Advance at Tenwek

New 64-Slice CT Scanner is latest enhancement

 When FOT helped Tenwek purchase and install a 4-slice Toshiba CT scanner in 2011, it was the only such diagnostic machine within a three-hour drive of the hospital – and it was the beginning of a new era of diagnostic radiology at Tenwek Hospital.

FOT’s Radiology Champion, Read Vaughan, M.D., was one of only two visiting radiologists at that time. The advent of CT scanning brought a critical need for more radiologist support. In response, Read launched a recruitment campaign that has had impressive results.

Today, Tenwek’s Radiology Department performs over 3,500 CT scans annually. Readings are done by visiting radiologists who work on-site for 30-34 weeks each year. For the remaining weeks, scans are read by 36 volunteer radiologists across the U.S. and Canada, using a cloud-based teleradiology system called Nucleus.

In addition, Read spearheaded the ART (Advancing Radiology at Tenwek) fundraising effort that raised over $400,000 to expand and remodel Tenwek’s Radiology Department and equip it with three new x-ray and four new ultrasound machines. (Learn more here.)

Most recently, the need to replace the antiquated Toshiba CT scanner and its exorbitant maintenance contract became a priority. FOT provided $50,000 towards the $350,000 purchase price and offered an interest-free loan of $150,000 to the hospital to facilitate acquisition of a new 64-slice Siemens Go Up CT scanner. It brings CT angiography and other essential capabilities to Tenwek and supports the hospital’s new services in Neuroradiology and Pediatric Surgery.

 An Immediate Life-Saver 

Peris Chebet is a 14-year-old Kenyan girl who presented at Tenwek with life threatening bleeding from her gastrointestinal track. An ultrasound showed her gallbladder full of clotted blood; an endoscopy confirmed that she was bleeding from inside her liver.

To perform the life-saving surgery Peris required, surgeons needed to know where the bleed inside her liver was originating. Prior to the installation of Tenwek’s new CT scanner, there was no way to provide this crucial information. But thanks to the new high-resolution machine, physicians were able to order a CT Angiogram of Peris’ abdomen which allowed radiologists to precisely identify a pseudoaneurysm in the right lobe of her liver.

Pediatric surgeon Michael Gainey and Tenwek surgeon Justus Lando were able to successfully block the artery and stop the bleeding. Six days later, Peris used the hand that had been extended for help from beneath her surgical drapes to wave a grateful goodbye as she went home from Tenwek. Her message to the doctors and donors who saved her: “This hand thanks you for its life!”

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Threads of Hope

Claiming God’s Plan for a Future and a Hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

Threads of Hope is a vocational training center for vulnerable women living in extreme poverty in the greater Bomet area. It was founded under the direction of Tenwek Community Health and Development in February 2018.  Suzie Vaughan, who travels to Tenwek for service each year with her husband, Read Vaughan, M.D., was instrumental in creating and developing the program.

During an eight-month tailoring apprenticeship, women gain vocational training and life skills, develop business acumen, and receive spiritual mentorship. Their work produces school uniforms for orphans, sanitary pads for use in prisons and schools, purses, aprons and other items for sale to visitors. “As our women find a sense of community, acceptance, and encouragement, we pray that their sense of dignity, self-worth and hope is restored,” says Suzie, who is pictured at left with the second class of sewing apprentices.

At graduation, women have achieved competency and their sewing has “earned” the value of one-third the price of a treadle sewing machine ($50 of the $150 USD total cost). FOT provided the funds to purchase and award each graduate of the first class a new machine, enabling her to return to her village and begin a new business.

The first five graduates have been on their own for seven months. All are using their sewing skills and machines to support themselves and their families. One woman has opened a small shop, another works at a tea factory making bags to carry tea leaves, and three others sew uniforms and do mending for their villages. Every member of that first class recently returned to Tenwek to celebrate the graduation of the second class of six apprentices. Training for a third group of women is underway.

The impact of this effort reaches far beyond the women themselves – the 11 students and two teachers involved so far are mothers of 32 children! Upon seeing Suzie this year, one of the first graduates gave her a warm embrace and said, “Thank you for changing my life. Not a day goes by that I cannot find a way to make some money using my machine.”

You can make a financial gift to support Threads of Hope by using this secure online form.

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Your Giving Creates Impact!

Since FOT began to build a network of supporters for Tenwek Hospital in 2012, it has funded numerous projects that enhance the medical and spiritual care extended to hospital patients and their surrounding communities. Every gift supports Tenwek’s mission of providing compassionate health care that reflects the love of Christ for all people. All of FOT’s funding decisions are made in full partnership with Tenwek Hospital leaders – their priorities are our priorities! We also support outreach programs that enhance the health, spiritual life, and well-being of residents in the greater Bomet area.

FOT Sets Fundraising Record in 2018

FOT received $805,972 USD in donations in 2018 – the highest amount raised since inception! With an all-volunteer staff, FOT expenses are kept to a minimum; just 5% of revenue ($40,438) was needed for fundraising, communications, and operational expenses. That means 95% of every dollar raised was available to support the mission and work of Tenwek Hospital.

2018 Highlights:

  • Since 2014, FOT has provided $217,000 USD (50% of the total cost) to renovate and equip the Bomet Annex, with $63,000 donated in 2018. Tenwek’s first outpatient clinic located beyond the main hospital campus opened in August 2018 and over 10,000 patents have been treated there to date!
  • Following a serious fire at Tenwek in February 2017, FOT raised a total $247,000 USD to assist with restoration efforts. Early gifts provided immediate relief for critical needs, which allowed all vital service to become quickly operational. Additional gifts supported rebuilding efforts and safety improvements that continued throughout 2018.
  • FOT provided $50,000 and a $150,000 interest-free loan that enabled Tenwek Hospital to purchase a new, 64-slice Siemens CT Scanner to replace an aging 4-slice scanner installed in 2011.
  • To support a new vision for the Tenwek Hospital College School of Chaplaincy, FOT invested $10,000 USD to help develop a new, three-year curriculum that will train chaplains from throughout Africa for service in hospitals, prisons, and schools; for work with police and the military; and for front-line service in times of natural disaster or national trauma.
  • Donations to support housing for residents training in various medical specialties at Tenwek totaled $37,339 USD.

This is an inspiring record of outstanding support from hundreds of dedicated donors.

Thank you!