From Despair to Hope: How Dr. Splawinski Restored Mobility

Mujuni Charles, a skilled twenty-eight-year-old builder from Masindi district, is well-known in the community for his craftsmanship and dedication. He has built homes, barns, and structures for the past eight years.

On April 9, 2024, while working on top of a storage building, Mujuni was focused on his tasks when a loose board beneath him caused him to fall and sustain severe injuries, including a shattered left hip, jaw dislocation, and dental damage.

He was rushed to a clinic in Masindi town unconscious before being referred to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor for specialized care. The journey to the hospital was a long arduous two-hour and forty-minute drive over 172 kilometers, with each delay further jeopardizing Mujuni’s life.

He remained unconscious for a week.

Upon arrival at Lacor, Mujuni was received at the Emergency Unit, where a team of skilled medical professionals attended to his injuries. After a week in the Trauma Ward, Mujuni woke up to the harsh reality of his medical condition, adding to his worries as the sole provider for his family.

His situation took a turn for the better with the arrival of Dr. Jan Splawinski, an Orthopedic surgeon from British Columbia, Canada, who arrived just in time to assist Mujuni in his struggle to overcome the challenges of being disabled at a young age, affecting both his family life and career. The news of receiving a free implant to fix his fractured hip seemed too good to be true, but it was indeed a reality.

Mujuni and his mother in the Trauma Ward

When we met Mujuni after his surgery a few days later, he said; ‘’I am feeling better now, although there is still some pain. There is much improvement compared to when I arrived unconscious.”

Without Dr. Splawinski and his team, Mujuni would have required more than 5 million shillings to walk out of the hospital in good. This amount is already heavily subsidised. It costs more in other facilities that are profit-oriented.

And yet Dr. Jan Splawinski and Dr. Seretan Charlie, exceptional orthopedic specialists in trauma cases, skillfully treated 36 patients for free during the intensive two weeks of orthopedic surgical camp that commenced on April 30th.

Their journey to Lacor began in 2019 when Dr. Splawinski and three dedicated nurses visited the hospital as part of a specialized general surgery program initiated by the experienced Dr. Giwang, a friend of his who had made numerous visits to the hospital before, laying the foundation for their collaborative efforts to serve the community.

During his second visit to the hospital, Dr. Splawinski came along with several orthopedic equipment weighing more than 500kgs. This is an immense contribution considering the costs of these kinds of equipment, which included stabilizable drills and batteries.

Dr. Jan Splawinski displays some of the orthopedic equipment he came with

This year, he even brought more – 19 suitcases full of orthopedic supplies. “Your hospital will never run out of equipment again because most of these are reusable,” he said. This valuable contribution aims to enhance the hospital’s orthopedic surgery capabilities. It is the fourth time Dr. Splawinski has generously donated modern surgical equipment to the hospital.

He praised the hospital staff for their exceptional professionalism and unwavering dedication to patient care. He emphasized the significance of their teamwork in effectively treating challenging injuries.

Inspired by his grandfather’s love for humanity to become an Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Splawinski made a difficult decision to sail across oceans from Poland to Canada as a young boy to see his dream come to life. Today, he extends his care and love for humanity worldwide through his work.

Dr. Jan Splawinski (2nd L) poses for a photo with the team of surgeons from Lacor Hospital

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