Sometimes things are more than they first appear. That is definitely true of Ramatu. She's not a patient, she's a translator. At least, that's what she is THIS year. Two years ago, she was a patient.
How do you go from patient to translator?? By being extraordinary!
Two years ago, it was Ramatu that came to the ship for surgery. She was leaking urine, and needed a VVF surgery. While she was here, she made herself invaluable in helping with translations that otherwise were difficult to impossible. You see, Ramatu is multilingual. It's true that we have many translators that know a large number of languages. I'd say they average 5 or 6 languages each. What is special about Ramatu is that she knows the languages of northern Togo. The ones that very few people around here speak. And when her time came to be discharged, she chose to stay and translate. The only problem is, Ramatu doesn't speak english. She speaks french. So for most of our nurses, that means we need a second translator just to speak to her. But that doesn't really matter. She often figures out what the nurses want even without knowing English. She's intelligent, loving and very, very helpful.
This year, when she found out that we were back and doing more VVF surgeries, she chose to return. She is dry, and doesn't need any more surgery. She is one of our true successes. And she wants nothing more than to see others have that same success. So she came back as a translator this time, and we kept her running from Admissions to the ward to the OR (since our ladies have spinals for their surgeries, they are wide awake and sometimes need a translator during the surgery). The whole time, there is a smile on her face. She understands exactly what the ladies are going through, what is coming and how to explain it. I've been blessed to meet her.