Unsung heroes: Dr Tom Catena

I met Dr. Tom Catena in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains — the site of an African war and famine few have even heard about — in a hospital overflowing with children. I saw bombs had ripped away their arms, flying shrapnel had taken out a baby’s eye, anti-personnel mines had shredded legs to jagged bone and ribbons of gangrenous flesh, infants suffering kwashiorkor and the other horrors of malnutrition.

Inspired by St Francis of Assisi, ‘Doctor Tom’ has worked almost every day, all day, since he arrived as the only surgeon for the Catholic hospital in Nuba nine years ago.

I asked him: “Why do you stay?” He replied: “There’s no other option. You leave and abandon everyone here or you stay and keep going.”

Heroes like Catena convince me that giving to charitable causes in Africa is the right thing to do, because at least some of what you donate will help rescue children like those in Nuba.

[The Spectator]

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