MONROVIA: In demonstration of his quest for a legislative seat in order to advance the cause of the needy and spur development, Dr. Thomas Nimene Tweh, Jr, commonly called “Original Country Man” who was not allowed by the Supreme Court to contest the District 11 Representative position proved something unique to the residents when he sponsored free medical and surgical operations to a number of people for various ailments, getting the praises of the beneficiaries and key stakeholders and in the process vowing, “we will not forget you in the future”
The operations which were the first of such in the electoral district took place at four medical institutions including the Maggie Clinic, Triple MS Medical and Surgical Clinic, Zobo Clinic and Medico-Social Clinic.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to news men said they were excited with the humanitarian gesture of Dr. Tweh, whom they described as “God sent”, adding that they had lost hope of getting medical attention which has to do with surgery and operations but the timely intervention of Dr. Tweh made everything possible.
James Sundaygar, 63, is a professional electrician who has been out of job and contracts for years now due to the hydroceles illness he has been bearing for more than 10 years. This makes life unbearable for him and his family in a harsh and shattered Liberian economy.
Hydrocele is the type of scrotal swelling that occurs when fluid collects in the thin sheath that surrounds the testicle.
Sundaygar never thought of generating funds or hoping for someone to sponsor his surgical operations. He previously doubted a pronouncement made by the medical outreach team of Dr. Thomas Nimene Tweh during the peak of the campaign period of October 10 presidential and legislative elections.
The team had announced that Dr. Tweh was screening patients in district # 11 Montserrado County to carry out free medical and surgical operations.
“I wrote my name down and was screened. But since then, I haven’t heard anything. So, I decided to forget about the surgery business because people can come campaign to us and lie,” Sundaygar who reluctantly showed up for the screening exercise at the Barnesville Town Hall, outside Monrovia.
His whole thinking was the pronouncement was a hoax intended to pull votes for Dr. Tweh who was contesting the elections. However, the narrative changed when he received a phone call on a wonderful day while sitting in front of his house thinking about his medical condition.
“The person called me and said “is this Sundaygar?”, I said yes; and the person said ‘Original Countryman wanted me to go to the clinic for checkup the next morning and he was going to pay for my surgery.’ I was confused and never knew what to do. I thought about it and I was so happy.”
He successfully went through surgical operations at the Maggie’s Clinic in the same community.
“From the first time they were doing the screening, I thought it was true. But when I heard that the man was not running again and the court denied him from contesting, I thought he was not going to sponsor the surgeries again. I pray that he and his children will continue to prosper; all the good he is doing will not go in vain because God will bless him bountifully. We will not forget him in the future.”
Sundaygar maintained that the gesture being extended to ailing and less fortunate Liberians by Dr. Tweh on a regular basis will go down a long way in the lives of the beneficiaries.
“It is very strange for somebody who is not related to you to be nice and do things you don’t expect them to do for you. The place Dr. Tweh is taking me from-just like someone who died has been resurrected. He has given me hope to get back on my feet.”
From birth, Jacob Vah, 19, was diagnosed with hydroceles. He was also treated from the illness.
Vah disclosed that he and his parents are very grateful to the Liberian humanitarian for taking the responsibility to sponsor his treatment.
He stated that prior to being screened, he and his parents never thought of raising money for his treatment.
“I want to tell Dr. Tweh thanks for the good he’s doing for us. We are hopeful that we too will help him in the future because he is far better than others. Dr. Tweh is really the real talk and do.”
For the past two years, Bill Holt, 32, has been mocked at and neglected by friends and some family members due to similar illness.
He expressed gratitude that the public service announcement on Dr. Tweh’s free medical and surgical operations came to a reality and solved his medical problem.
“I feel very happy to benefit from the surgery today. Many days my friends used to laugh at me or take advantage of me because of my situation. I just want to tell the Original Countryman thank you.”
Holt expressed shock over the consistent humanitarian works and assistance being carried out by Dr. Tweh, despite his unfortunate denial by the Supreme Court to contest the elections.
Hannah B. Nelson, 35, was diagnosed with umbilical hernia following severe pains she continuously experienced in her stomach. She carried the illness for about three years.
Umbilical hernia is a condition in which the intestine protrudes through the abdominal muscles at the belly button.
“I never used to eat freely. Even if I had to eat, I could only eat soft food and drink enough water. My stomach really used to hurt me and most times I used to feel like throwing out (vomiting).”
She couldn’t afford the nearly US$400 charged by doctors to undergo the surgery. However, she was also among scores of other ailing Liberians who took advantage of the free medical and surgical operations sponsored by Dr. Tweh.
“I am feeling fine and happy to go under the surgery. If I had the opportunity to see Dr. Tweh today, I would appreciate him. He has the heart of a real humanitarian. He feels for people. I am really surprised that he did not contest, but he is living up to his promises made to the people.”
Hannah, however, encouraged Dr. Tweh to remain hopeful, steadfast and courageous in contributing towards the improvement of the living conditions of Liberians and the country at large.
She used this medium to call on Liberian politicians to avoid getting elected positions before fulfilling promises made to the electorates during electioneering periods.
Hannah maintained that most often, politicians do not “think about the poor”, especially when they have ascended to elected positions.
“Other people are dying because of illnesses and there is no money for them to go to the hospitals or clinics to cure those illnesses. Our politicians should think about these people and others who need help by extending hands to them.”
Sumo Mulbah, 80, stated: “I was diagnosed with hernia and have been reaching out to politicians and other people to help me. But they always told me to wait, no money. I was informed about Dr. Tweh’s sponsoring our treatment by my brother-in-law. I pray that God will bless him and his rewards are above.”
He disclosed that the lack of finance prevented him from visiting the hospital for surgery for over 10 years.
Dr. Tweh who is affectionately known as Original CountryMan (OCM), was denied by the Supreme Court of Liberia from contesting for the Representative seat of electoral district # 11 Montserrado County, following a domicile case filed against him by few of his political opponents in the just ended elections.
Though the Hearing Officer and the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) earlier ruled that Dr. Tweh was a resident of the district, the High Court overturned the decision, something which prompted a high level of division among residents of the district.
Despite the unfortunate situation, Dr. Tweh has not surrendered his humanitarian works and assistance to needy Liberian citizens and groups in the country.
Over the weekend, he sponsored the medical and surgical operations of over 100 citizens suffering from various illnesses including: hernias, hydroceles, lipomas, myomas, and other subcutaneous masses.
The surgical operation procedures conducted on about 82 patients at various clinics in district # 11 and other parts adjacent were: herniorrhaphy, hydrocelectomy, lipectomies, and lumpectomies.