Monday, November 3, 2014
Hands of Healing Medical Volunteers Provide Life-Saving Medical Treatment to Woman in Need
Written by Ana Karina Sibrián Zepeda, Medical Coordinator
Whenever we host visiting medical groups and provide valuable health services to those who need it the most, our philosophy is quality over quantity. We make sure that every patient that comes to a temporary clinic has enough time to discuss all their medical needs with their examiners, and has a thorough understanding of the medication being received.
With careful consideration to the quality of services provided, visiting medical teams still manage to see hundreds of patients, often providing more than one service to each person. Over the past couple of months, we have been very lucky to receive two teams: in September, Global Hands of Healing (GHOH), from Texas, and in October, Hands of Healing (HOH), from Florida.
HOH Doctors with a Patient in Nahuala
HOH Doctors with a Patient in Panimache
GHOH doctor with baby patient
GHOH doctor at work
The latter branched off the former, but now the two are independent projects that work with Mayan Families to set up medical clinics in the most remote areas of the Guatemalan Highlands. GHOH spent four days in Nahuala providing medical examinations, vision testing and glasses, and dental care.
Nahuala is one of the most impoverished regions of Guatemala, where 80% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Most of the people living there are indigenous Quiche, and many of them do not speak Spanish which is a major obstacle in receiving health care. We made sure that every single examiner had enough translators to communicate with patients in their native language.
Because of this great need, HOH also spent a couple of days in Nahuala in October. In addition, they visited the towns of Panimache, Agua Escondida and Chukmuk.
With hundreds of patients seen and thousands of medicines and vitamins dispensed, we could not be happier that all of HOH’s hard work would culminate in saving a life on their last day of clinics in Chukmuk.
Concepcion, a 54 year old woman, came into the clinic like every other one of the hundreds of patients being seen. She could never imagine that on that day, the doctors would save her life. They did a routine triage on her: blood pressure, temperature, weighing. But when they tested the oxygen level in her lungs, they found it to be 92%. That is like trying to breathe through a coffee stirrer, and it is extremely dangerous.
Immediately her examiner dropped everything she was doing to get Concepcion to the local hospital. While hospital care is free for Guatemalans, they are still expected to pay for their lab work and their medication. The HOH team rushed her to the emergency room, and covered all her expenses for that day.
Concepcion is still under observation until she can become stable. The doctors at the hospital tell us that her condition is not improving, and she needs to be transferred to a national hospital where they will have the equipment to run the lab work she needs. It seems that she has a particularly grave case of Pneumonia, and she will most likely need to take oxygen on a permanent basis.
The HOH group has been extremely generous covering Concepcion’s expenses. However, she will need ongoing support, especially since her hospital bills are likely to amount to several hundred dollars. On top of this, she will probably need ongoing treatment when she is out. If you would like to support Concepcion, you can go to our donation page and indicate in the notes that the donation is for FA-448.
I am so happy that we were able to support Conception with the help of the generous Hands of Healing team. I can’t help but wonder, however, how many other Concepcion’s are out there? How many people are postponing a life-saving visit to a doctor because getting care would mean their children don’t eat the next day?
These are the kinds of decisions nobody should have to make; which is why it is so important for us to keep our General Medical Fund growing. With a donation to our General Medical Fund, or to the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic, we could have the resources to get people the care they need, especially during times of emergency.
If you would like to learn more about current medical cases, the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic, or have any general questions regarding our Medical Aid Program please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.