Day 2 in Sanarate

Posted on: 02/26/2020

Author: Mary Griffin

Mary and Carla stepping out and running the lab!

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Team Delk had another busy day at clinic. We have packed up our things and are looking forward to moving sites for the second half of clinic week. Again, this work could not be done without all of the incredible “red hat volunteers,” Faith In Practice staff, and the rest of those who support Team Delk, whether it be emotionally, spiritually, or monetarily. We are grateful for each one of you! 

Morning Devotion - Melissa West, a first time Faith In Practice volunteer and UVA pharmacy resident, led morning devotional today. Her message was poignant and surrounded the idea of "stepping out in faith." We have a handful of new team members and many veteran team members who come to Guatemala with a great sense of familiarity. One thing that we all have in common is knowing that taking care of patients in this setting challenges each of us to step out of our comfort zones. Special shout-out to Mary and Carla who were willing to learn how to run our lab this week, Jeanne for being a first time translator, Mary L. for being a first time provider in our Mobility Clinic, and Jim, Mark, and Joel for learning the art of being "wheelchair assembler extraordinaires." No matter if it's our first trip or 25th, we each have many things to learn from our experience here. 

Recapping Day 1 by the numbers... – 592 total patients seen. WOW! 232 in the general medicine clinic, 62 pediatric patients, 53 in gynecology, 75 in the dental clinic, and 51 in VIA/cryo. Team Delk made 88 surgical referrals, fitted 31 patients for new wheelchairs, performed 22 ultrasounds, and extracted 134 teeth! 


Dr. Aileen Turner met a beautiful young mom in gynecology who presented to be evaluated for her pregnancy. She is carrying her second child and had never seen an ultrasound machine prior to today. Dr. Phebe Chen, a radiologist serving on Team Delk, was able to perform an ultrasound and show the patient her sweet growing child and Aileen made sure that the patient’s mom was there for the moment. 

Advanced imaging techniques are just one way that Faith In Practice is advancing care for the people of Guatemala. Another patient that Phebe saw today had an unremarkable ultrasound reading, but believed she had a diagnosis that may have been inaccurate based on a previous doctor’s visit. There is some concern that patients in Guatemala are misdiagnosed or scammed in order for providers to make a profit and this case may highlight this exact situation. We are thankful to be able to provide care and additional opinions to the patients we see in clinic. 


A 6-year-old girl came to the pediatric clinic today. She was completely immobile and being carried in by her mother. She was having stomach problems today which we were able to give her medicine for, but her mom also wanted to thank us for the wheelchair we gave her last year. She had a spinal hemorrhage at 5 months old which caused her immobility and developmental delays. Her mom said the wheelchair has been working wonderfully and it has changed her mobility completely; they now do not have to carry her everywhere she goes, which has been a blessing.

Mobility Clinic

Today the members of Team Delk in the Mobility Clinic were able to help a patient who was recently involved in a motorcycle accident where he injured his left arm and leg so unable to use crutches. He previously had surgery to place a plate in his leg, which later got infected and had to be removed. He had an additional surgery and was struggling to move around. He will likely be able to walk again one day once he gives himself time to heal. The wheelchair he received today gives him that chance.   


Mary Lewis, Christa, and Melissa