Oct. 18: Big Grandmother of All Medicine

A doctor from Seattle Washington was known as “Big Grandmother of All Medicine” to her patients—the Montagnards of Vietnam’s highlands.

After graduating from medical school in the late 1950s, Dr. Patricia Smith, then age 32, decided to work with lepers in Vietnam.  She came to see that the primitive hill people she met through her work there needed a hospital.  After months of studying Bahnar, their difficult dialect, she managed to win their confidence by saving the life of a critically ill Montagnard child.

Once accepted by them, Dr. Smith raised funds until she was able to build the hospital where she personally treated patients for years.  She returned to the United States after South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975.

Upon her death in 2004, Dr. Smith’s son, Wir, said of his mother, “She was an amazing person.  She was a little like Mother Teresa.”

Each of us can be “a little like Mother Teresa” and Dr. Smith.  Just look around you to find someone in need.

If you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.  (Mark 9:22) 

Fill me with a spirit of selflessness, Jesus. 

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