The help from translators

Posted on: 05/08/2019

Author: Jason Lindh

Pam, Susan, Apryl, Daryl, and all of those with Spanish language skills are the ones that facilitate the healing that takes place during our time here in Guatemala.  They are there when the patients are introduced to the physicians and they are often one of the last faces that a patient will see when they are discharged from the ward.  Often they are the ones by the bedside translating the prayers being offered up on behalf of the physicians by the patients and their families  They are there working hand in hand with the healing staff to bring about the relief each patient is so desirous to achieve. 

But that is the just the beginning of the assistance each of these individual provides.  Often you will find one sitting by the bedside of a patient entertaining a small child while the parents work with staff of Las Obras.  At other times you will find them comforting a young mother as her child is carried into surgery.  Sometimes they don’t even use their language, but instead simply sit by a physician and share their emotional burden.

This morning, a young mother named Maria had to entrust her infant son, Risdon, to the loving arms of one of the nurses, Maurice “Mo” Green.  Despite the absolute trust Mo inspires in those around her, it was apparent that Maria was apprehensive of handing her child off to someone she did not know.  As the mother followed her infant out of the room with her eyes, it was Susan that stood by her side and provided the comfort necessary for the mother to allow her child to undergo the scheduled surgery.

Too often we overlook the absolute need that each of us has to have to connect to others when we are tried.  “Never underestimate the empowering effect of human connection.  All you need is that one person, who understands you completely, believes in you and makes you feel loved for what you are, to enable you – to unfold the miraculous YOU.”  (Drishti Bablani)  In that moment when Maria felt completely alone, Susan was able to connect with her, help her to understand she was not alone, that each and every one of the staff here understood exactly what she was feeling, and that both she and her son were loved.  At that moment of pure human connection, there was no need for a translator.