Stunning scenery, majestic wildlife, and eternally-grateful patients—it never gets tiring. Dr. Karen Keough, board-certified child neurologist and neurophysiologist with Child Neurology Consultants of Austin, recently returned from her fifth trip to Kenya with HEAL Kenya and Ubuntu Life.
For the second time, her son, Seth Richards, a Social Worker, went along to help with the work on their busy days in clinic. Two seasoned pediatricians also participated for return visits, Dr. Sharon Lockhart and Dr. Lynn Campbell.
Dr. Keough has been a part of HEAL Kenya since Dr. Jeffrey Kane and Beth Haidi, a nurse from DCMC, first proposed the idea in 2012. Teams of physicians, nurses, and volunteers with all sorts of other skills have participated in trips multiple times each year ever since then, providing care to a growing group of patients in the same small towns, and conducting educational lectures for Kenyan patients, parents, and healthcare providers.
“These communities do not have MRIs, EEGs, laboratories with testing capabilities or even running water. The need for specialty care is enormous,” explained Dr. Keough.
Their mission was not only to treat patients but also to train local healthcare professionals on how to continue with medical care once the group leaves.
The doctors worked in the towns of Maai Mahiu and Thigio, examining, diagnosing, and carefully treating each patient who had come from near and very far — some even waiting hours to be seen. The majority of treatment centered on those suffering from epilepsy and seizures, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, developmental delay, and migraines.
Over the five days, the team treated 238 patients.
“We are always so honored to meet and get to know the amazing people of Kenya through our medical mission work,” said Dr. Keough.
Dr. Keough isn’t the only physician or staff member from Child Neurology Consultants of Austin to visit Kenya. In the past, Dr. Jeffrey Kane, Dr. Lindsay Elton, Dr. Michael Reardon, and NP Toshia McKeon have also joined the HEAL Kenya team.