If someone had told me in the beginning of this trip that I may end up observing in the operating room, I likely would have thought they were joking. However, yesterday, when presented with the opportunity, I didn't hesitate to jump at the chance. I am so glad I did.
Going into any operating room would be an eye-opening experience in and of itself.....in a foreign country, even more so. I am struck by the amazing fortitude a team must have to overcome many an obstacle; communicating in a foreign language (with medical terminology!), using equipment and donated supplies that are not what you are used to working with in the states, doing a job that might be new to you as well as dealing with medical issues you may have never seen before.
Despite these issues, every FAITH IN PRACTICE employee or group member works collaboratively to assure that every Guatemalan patient gets the best medical care possible. Is it easy? No. Is it sometimes scary? Yes. Are you pushed outside of your comfort zone? Often. Yet this deters no one.
Here are some sobering statistics....
- Guatemala has among the worst health performances in the world
- 75% of the population live below the poverty line
- 16% of the population live in extreme poverty
- 59% lack access to any health care service
Yesterday I witnessed critical health situations that could have been avoided with preventative health care. Your donations not only help save these lives, but they dramatically improve the quality of the Guatemalan people. Thank you for being part of the change. Thank you for bringing a smile where there was once only pain.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John F. Kennedy