Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blessings and help from good friends and doctors

Good Morning Friends,
It is Saturday and the rains are pouring from the heavens! It has been an incredible few days with many acutely ill with serious health complications. We must rely on the National Health system, with all its limitations, for many of our patients. It does help trememdously to have contacts and friends in hospitals. Many of the doctors, who assist us with patients, did their required practice as medical students in our Clinic and now hold prestigious positions in Hospitals. Fortunately they have good memories of their experience in our Clinic and help us admit our patients and provide excellent care for them or refer them for us.

An example of some of the positions held by Physicians who worked for us as Medical Students are the Chief of Pediatric Surgery in the largest government hospital in Guatemala City; the Medical director of the Tuberculosis Hospital and his wife heads the program for HIV; the director of the Pediatric Ward in Hospital nearest us. We also have a very good friendship with the female doctor who admits immediately any child diagnosed with cancer; her husband worked for the Clinic with Mountain clinic project until recently. In this society without such contacts one could not be as effective in having patients receive specialized care.

Two days ago a four month old infant had emergency surgery in Guatemala city for a congential mass under his tongue that was affecting his breathing. The surgery was a success. We also brought another newly diagnosed patient with HIV to the Aids clinic and he was started immediately on anti virals. Another young woman, with a ruptured appendix, underwent repeat surgery for abcess by an excellent surgeon who is a friend of our Mission, in the local hospital. He was to have the day off but called me to bring an interpreter to convince the patient to agree to repeat surgery so he could perform it himself. One of the students from our parish high school suffered an chemistry experiment explosion causing damage to his eyes. I was fortunate to bring him to an excellent opthamologist, who has assisted in eye brigades in our clinic, in his office; he gave a 50% discount. The student remains in the clinic to receive his eye medication and observation. So though I am tired this weekend, I feel blessed to know such dedicated Guatemalan Physicians, who share the concern to care for patients who cannot afford private care. We also have an excellent Physician who works full time in the Clinica Maxeña; his name is EVER. He lives nearby with his wife and four children and has the respect of the local population. We are richly blessed.

Manuela, our AIDS patient in the clinic, is now Hospice for us. Keep her in your prayers. Her parents remain with her 24 hours and we have a nurses aide who assists in her care.

Enclosed a picture of Manuela and her mom, in our in patient clinic area, and Cristian, four month old infant with his mom, before leaving for the city for emergency surgery.

Thank You for your interest, support and prayers for our work in the Clinica Maxeña.