Hope and Healing: Dr. Jun Xu
To deliver medical care to those in need
The Team Nataliya Kushta, Jimmy Xu, Jun Xu, Elizabeth Cooper left: The children of West Africa
For all the good fortune he has enjoyed since coming to America twenty-five years ago, including a thriving rehabilitation medicine practice in Greenwich, Dr. Jun Xu could never quite shake the feeling that he was undeserving. He had gone through a lot to achieve success. Labeled a dissident in his native China, he overcame government harassment and resistance to his attending college and studying medicine. And once he came to the United States, he worked hard to establish himself. Still, when he looked around he wondered why he was so blessed when so many others, including fellow doctors who carried big debts from medical school, were struggling. So it was that Dr. Xu (pronounced “shoe”) began looking for a way to give something back to the world. He found it in Africa.
In May, Dr. Xu and his team of eleven others, including his son, a medical student at the University of Wisconsin; staffers from his practice; and members of the Assembly of God World Vision Ministry in Bridgeport, traveled to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, in West Africa, to deliver medical care to those in need.
In fifteen days, they traveled more than 800 miles, setting up clinics in ten villages, including one leprosy village. Enduring suffocating heat, dust-filled air and local corruption at every turn, Dr. Xu and company saw 2,420 patients. They treated and handed out medication for everything from dysentery to pneumonia to skin infections. One day they assisted 450 individuals. For those with problems Dr. Xu was unable to address, they provided cash for hospital care.
The poverty they saw was staggering. Dr. Xu speaks of casually disposing of some chicken bones from lunch only to see some local children begin rifling through the trash and eating the discards. “We all felt so heartbroken,” he remembers. “We said, ‘OK, come eat our lunch.’”
Doing good can be addictive. Dr. Xu intends to return to Africa next spring. Meanwhile, he’s working to raise funds for a trade school that the church is building in Senegal. In addition he’s getting behind a project, also through the church, that would allow families in Greenwich and elsewhere to “adopt” individual students in Africa and follow their progress through the Internet and Skype.
“In the United States, everything we have is a blessing,” he says. “This trip completely changed my life, my perception of our lives. That’s why I feel I have to go back.”
Visit drxuacupuncture.com for more information.