From left to right: Dr. Kevyn Comstock, Esu Anahata, Ina Anahata, Issouf “Kodjo” Bance, President Mary Prybylo, Karim Combari, Spiritual Care Director Andrew Files, Primary Care Director Mya-Lisa King, Miki MacDonald N.P.

January 22, 2020

We would like to get down on our knees to express the depth of our gratitude for St. Joseph’s Hospital partnership with The BARKA Foundation and its incredibly generous gift of medical services to two members from the BARKA Delegation who visited the US from August through January. During their 6-month visit, Kodjo and Karim (pictured above) received thousands of dollars in life-saving medical care.

When Karim arrived he could barely walk and was in constant pain. Osteopath Kevyn Comstock diagnosed him with spinal stenosis. St. Joe’s donated an MRI which confirmed severe spinal stenosis and then offered to provide him with the only care that would offer a permanent solution to his medical condition- spinal surgery. Dr. Swartzbaugh performed the surgery and post-op care and the operation was a resounding success. Karim has his life back (no pun intended) and is walking tall and no longer in excruciating pain.

Kodjo had a dental emergency which unfortunately came late one Friday night- with no dentists available until Monday. St. Jo’s provided him with a pro bono visit to the emergency room to treat his pain, as well as vaccinations, osteopathic treatments and a steroid injection for his bad knee.

Needless to say, Kodjo and Karim were amazed at the level of the care they received from St. Joe’s. In Burkina Faso there is 1 doctor per 10,000 people and most clinics and even hospitals have barely any resources or advanced medical equipment. At St. Joe’s, Karim was even able to speak directly to his surgeon and team of medical practitioners through a real-time video translation service.

Karim, Kodjo, and all of us here at BARKA Foundation are truly grateful to St. Joseph’s Hospital for going above and beyond to help the lives of two people who will be forever changed. St. Joe’s willingness to put love into action through such charitable medical services embodies what we like to refer to as reciprocity.

From Left to right: Karim Combari, Dr. Joanna Swartzbaugh, Kodjo Bance, Ina and Esu Anahata (pictured in screen is the French interpreter).