Posted on: 04/30/2019

Author: Don Pine

Our last day in Totonicapán proved to be very similar to our first day when we saw over 600 patients. Audiology proved to be the most “popular” clinic and was extremely busy all day long. Well over half of the hearing aids that were brought for the trip have already been fitted. Hope was high in the clinic that we would be able to help a young girl about 10 years old who completely lost her hearing at age 2. While the new hearing aid was able to make her sound aware, it does not appear that she is able to distinguish sounds.


Outcomes like the one described above, whether it is related to hearing or some other disabling infirmity, are not uncommon here in Guatemela. The broken medical system here often is not able to provide treatment for issues until it is too late and permanent damage occurs. For some, our very presence here may have saved lives today. One young girl was brought in with fever and intense pain in her lower right side.  A ruptured appendix was suspected and her mother was told she needed to go to the hospital immediately. We had an ambulance come pick her up!


However, the Guatemalans are very grateful for whatever we can do.  “Gratias” are freely given to any team member that passes one of the patients.  One elderly woman today was so thrilled with the reading glasses she was given, that she wanted to hug anyone in scrubs!


The Mobility Clinic has also been very busy both days fitting many wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Pediatrics saw many patients today, too, including a 9-month-old baby that weighed 13 pounds. Her young mother was worried that something was wrong. However, testing showed that she was not malnourished and all other vitals were normal.  Needless to say, her mother was very relieved.


At the end of the day, the whole team, including all the local Red hat volunteers, circled up to hold hands together, pray and to thank God for allowing us to serve so many people here in Totonicapán.