Humanitarian Travel Grant Recipient Teams Up with Kenya Relief Mission

February 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 1

Jaxon W. Jordan, MD

Through Kenya Relief, I had the opportunity to be part of a surgical team that included Lana L. Jackson, MD, Gina D. Jefferson, MD, Tammara L. Watts, MD, and Gil Jackson, MD. We performed 66 operations and numerous other clinical procedures in the small rural community of Migori, Kenya. Our group also clinically evaluated and medically treated more than 100 additional patients during our time at the Brase Clinic and Vision Centre. The primary goal of our mission was to remove head and neck masses from patients who could not afford healthcare.

The spiritual impact of our surgeries went far deeper than we could have expected, as many patients had been told that their tumors were a sign that their lives had been cursed. The gratitude we received was unparalleled, and it will have a lasting impact on everyone who was involved with the mission. Our team removed close to 30 thyroid goiters, as well as numerous parotid and submandibular tumors. A handful of other otolaryngology surgeries, including tympanoplasty, adenoidectomy, excision of oral lesions, branchial cleft fistula removal, open sinus surgery, and complex keloid excisions, were also performed.

Our mission continued back at the dorm, where we developed relationships with children from the Kenya Relief orphanage. We spent time getting to know the children and participating in numerous activities, including soccer, church, and small group gatherings during our stay. The children were polite, hardworking, and kind despite their disheartening backgrounds—a testimony to the leadership at Kenya Relief. The mission of Kenya Relief is to rekindle hope for a new generation in Kenya through Brittany’s Home of Grace (Kenya Relief Orphanage), Kenya Relief Academy, and the Brase Clinic and Vision Centre. Each facet of their mission is strongly supported and deeply impactful. In the future I plan to return to Kenya to continue my support of this incredible organization.

This trip would not have been possible without the help of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation’s (AAO-HNSF) Humanitarian Travel Grant. Thank you so much for your generosity and commitment to humanitarian outreach. Your funding provided me with a unique opportunity to serve the people of Kenya as a resident and laid a foundation for future missions in my career.