Dr Penny Uther volunteered with ADI on a 6-month placement in Kavieng, New Ireland. When not in PNG, Penny works as a General Paediatrician between Sydney Children’s Hospital and Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital.
While on patrol, Dr Penny met Joe (pictured below). Despite his significant disability, Joe had never received medical treatment. “I was struck by how bright and motivated he was,” Dr Penny recalls. “Despite his disability, he had taught himself to write with his feet and was keen to show us some of his work. In Australia, Joe’s condition would have been diagnosed antenatally and successfully treated with surgery and intensive physical therapy. Expectant mothers in PNG have very limited access to this sort of medical care and children like Joe, born with a disability, receive little or no medical treatment or therapy. We were able to provide Joe’s family with information about schooling options for him and ADI are continuing to work to support Joe in the future.”