Sandra, one of our Guatemalan volunteers Sandra with Faith In Practice Staff
Sandra is a social worker from Guatemala who has dedicated her life to serving her community of Patzicía.
She first served with Faith In Practice in 2015 alongside her mother at a traditional birth attendant training. At just 31, Sandra needed a cane to walk because a hip condition greatly limited her mobility and caused her pain. After serving as an interpreter from Kaqchiquel to Spanish for the training, Sandra started to refer patients from her community to receive surgery from Faith In Practice surgery teams. She accompanied them to the clinic and served alongside her mother as a team cook; not expecting that the very surgery she needed could actually be provided by Faith In Practice volunteer physicians only months later.
Sandra received her surgery and had a successful recovery that propelled her to complete her studies in social work. After receiving surgery, she felt the urgency to assist other people and has since dedicated her career to helping her community have access to healthcare, in part by continuing to refer patients for Faith In Practice clinics. Reflecting on her experience, Sandra shared that, “Faith In Practice saved my life by giving me a second chance to walk.”
This year, Sandra was coordinating for more patients to receive care through our mobility clinics, but due to the pandemic, Guatemala went into lockdown and our volunteer teams were canceled. Sandra stayed in touch with Josh Greenman, Faith In Practice’s Director of Partnerships, and last month they began to organize mobility clinics in Patzicía. On October 6 and 8, they held two mobility clinics where 14 patients were seen by a medical provider and a physical therapist who assessed their medical needs, fit them for a suitable wheelchair, taught them exercises to maintain strength, and educated them on how to properly move in and out of the chair and avoid pressure sores.
Sandra sees the same need she once had in other people who are in need of surgery, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids. Josh and Sandra continue to work together to organize more mobility clinics that will take place on December 1 and 3. We are grateful for Sandra’s commitment to making sure her community has access to healthcare because she understands the impact that this kind of care can have.
If you want to hear from a patient that Sandra helped refer to Faith In Practice, you can listen to his message here.