Monday, November 21, 2011


The eye surgeons and assistants have returned to their homes in California. Regina, Guatemalan medical resident in Ophthalmology, assisted in surgeries and will return on Friday to follow up on operated patients. Thirty eight patients had eye surgery, twenty five patients for cataract removal. One hundred ninety eight patients passed ophthalmology consult and also were screened for diabetes. Eight new Diabetics were diagnosed and will attend Diabetic Club on Friday.

One special patient was 20 year old Diego. Diego, insulin dependent diabetic, is in control the last two years in the Clinica Maxena; it is not known how long he was diabetic before diagnosed. As a juvenile diabetic he is brittle, malnourished, and with bouts of depression. Loss of his eyesight was sudden and perhaps cause of his recent depression and abandonment of insulin treatment. We quickly made a house call and brought him to the clinic. Fortunately it was right prior to the arrival of the Eye doctors. He was diagnosed as legally blind from bilateral cataracts. The right cataract was successfully removed last week and the left cataract will be removed in April in the Clinica Maxeña. The next brigade of Ophthalmologists will be from Montana. He was smiling as he could again read the eye chart. Diego is studying mechanical drawing for an associate degree. His education is supported by Sr Anna's education support project.

The Clinica Maxena is busy every day. Each day brings very poor patients to medical consult. Most of these patients have acute illness although daily we are seeing chronic illness with more cancer, diabetes, Aids patients and a resurgence of Tuberculosis.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops is preparing a document of analysis of the Health care in Guatemala and will present it to the new President who will take office in 2012.

We ask for your continued support, and interest in the work of the Clinica Maxeña. Times are economically difficult as we confront daily medical emergencies for the Mayan population we serve. We need more financial support to successfully begin 2012 with a full staff!

You can donate on line at:
Note for the Clinica Maxeña
or send check to Diocese of Helena
Mr. Mark Frei
Guatemalan Mission
Nurses Fund Checks to Diocese of Helena
PO BOX 1729
HELENA MT. 59601

Attached is a photo of Diego, following surgery with sunglasses, to protect his eye from light; the second photo shows Diego with Dr Marty and Dra Lauren, who performed his surgery, and his MOM.