Spider bite kills missionary nun in Kenya

An Irish medical missionary Sr Elsie Furlong has died from the bite of a hunting spider last week while working in northern Kenya near the Sudanese border.

Independent Catholic News reports that Sr Rosetta (Elsie) Furlong of the Medical Missionaries of Mary congregation, died on Saturday 28 April at Lodwar town in northern Kenya following a bite by a hunting spider last Thursday.

Born in June 1937 in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Ireland, Sr Rosetta served as a nurse-midwife in Italy, Ireland, and Kenya.

Witnesses say that she single-heartedly dedicated herself to offering the best possible health care to the poorest, she worked in various parts of Kenya, including Aror, Kerio Valley.

According to a statement by her community, she gave her heart to the Turkana people of northern Kenya, in Lokitaung, Nakwamoro, and Lodwar, where she died.

Her daily travels with the mobile clinic team took her to nomadic groups 80 km and more from Lodwar, her home base, the statement says.

"She is remembered above all for her tireless nursing care, her willingness to go not just the extra mile, but many miles to remote villages to bring in the sick, wounded or pregnant mothers to Nakwamoru Health Centre," the statement concluded.

Kenya: missionary nun dies after spider bite (Independent Catholic News, 1/5/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Medical Missionaries of Mary | Medical Missionaries of Mary in Kenya
Shiloh McCollum, Hunting Spiders (Colorado State University, 2001)
Spider (Wikipedia)

2 May 2007

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