"The $400 collected (by Loyola students) will significantly change the lives of these two boys!! Thank you! The things we take for granted in our lives and the good we can do with some forethought and effort is amazing." - Rich
Today we went to Totalya. There are three communities that are all together- built after the communities were destroyed after flooding and mud slides from hurricane Stan. Two communities came from fincas (coffee plantations) and the other was a pueblo. They were all built next to each other but maintain their separate identities. We went out with a group of PA's from Utah. We all did clinic together. We saw about 65 patients today including one house call.
There were several touching stories today. Rich saw a 4 year old boy who has a heart murmur from a hole in his heart. The family has been told that he needs surgery, but they can't afford the transportation or surgery. Gaby and I saw a 58 year old man who got caught up in the mud slide here 8 years ago. His ear got cut off in the rocks and debris from the houses as he was being swept down the mountain. He had a lot of trauma to his chest and other areas. He was in the hospital for 4 years. It's a miracle he survived. We understand on one level that we are fortunate that we haven't had to endure such adversity. At times though I find it's difficult to remember this and truly realize this.
Mary and Mackenzie were keeping the pharmacy completely organized (I was able to sneak back behind the pharmacy table once). Carissa was checking blood sugars, helping with knee injections and pitching in anywhere else she was needed. Emily was checking in patients and getting a chance to use her Spanish more. Rich continues to be the leader in clinic and the "go to" person for any issues that come up. Gaby and Bridget continue to do a stellar job of translating including words like sneeze (esturnodar) and other esoteric gastroenterology terms that I was trying to get them to translate.
We packed up to leave for Antigua tomorrow. We went out for drinks at the Toliman restaurant and talked about our experiences for the week.
Emily is totally hot for Juan Carlos.
Clinic yesterday was great. The location was good for a bigger group of providers and staff. The people came who had significant issues and it was wonderful to see our team truly care for each one as an individual. We were able to adjust our clinic to work with the PA group and show them some of the things we have learn from so many good ideas previous groups have come up with to make our clinic run more smoothly. I particularly enjoyed today due to the multiple Obstetric patients I got to see (as well as a couple of well child checks). The patients loved to hear their baby's heartbeat with the Doppler we brought.
There was a lull midday and there happened to be a soccer field across the street (with grass) and we got to play a game with the kids. Mackenzie, Emily and myself as well as Dr Moco himself-Jesus Antonio played. He was laughing and running like a school boy! I could have played all day.
Bridget worked with Jesus Antonio to arrange for the money collected by the Loyola high school throughout Lent to help two children who need surgery. The first Pat talked about above the second was a boy I saw the second day with recurrent left ear infections and drainage. On exam, he had a fairly large ear drum perforation. This is easily fixed in the States but here getting to and from Guatemala City costs $100 and the consultation is $100. That amount is insurmountable for the families here. Fortunately, once they are evaluated the surgery is free. The $400 collected will significantly change the lives of these two boys!! Thank you! The things we take for granted in our lives and the good we can do with some forethought and effort is amazing.
I could see on this trip the Parrish has made strides to help with accountability and all the communities were prepared for our visits. So the preparation of MDP and Bridget really made a difference in our trip and therefore in the lives of those we served.
We will spend the day in Antigua today. Unfortunately, the drive has been cloudy and so we did not get to see the majestic views of the volcanos that surround the town. I'm sure we will enjoy it just the same.
Thank you for your love and prayers,