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Nathan Barlow

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Nathan Barlow was an unusual medical doctor who used his skills in Ethiopia for 60 years. He dedicated his life to helping people with mossy foot. Mossy foot is thought to be caused by barefoot contact with the red clay soil of the country and it is a debilitating condition [that] causes swelling and ulcers in the feet and lower legs. I would show you pictures but I thought it best not to do so. They were, shall we say, unpleasant. The subsequent deformity and secondary infections makes people with mossy foot social outcasts equivalent to lepers.


Nathan was so committed to these people that once when he got a toothache and had to fly away from the mission field to get medical attention, he had his dentist pull all of his teeth and make him a set of false teeth, because, as he told his dentist, he didn’t ever want to have to leave the mission field for the sake of his teeth again.


When his health began to fail, his daughter flew Nathan home from Ethiopia. After only a few weeks, he couldn’t handle being in the states. The people he loved were in Ethiopia, so his daughter flew him back home so he could spend his last days there..

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