The day began early with a 5:00 am wake up call. The team had a devotional and then a quick breakfast. After breakfast, we boarded the buses and headed to the clinic. Patients formed a long line outside the gates of the school and we were excited to see so many patients as our buses arrived. Once the clinic is open, the patients are taken to triage, where each patient meets with a team member, and describes the reason he or she is seeking medical assistance. Many of the people have impressive lists of ailments. The triage team talked with each patient to decipher which of our clinics was the appropriate place for that person to seek assistance. Triage continued until noon, when some of our doctors who were screening the incoming patients were then able to join their clinics.
Every clinic was buzzing with activity. The doctors and medical personnel on our team operated with great skill and effectiveness while also maintaining flexibility adapting to limited resources and constraints of time, facilities, and technology.
The wheelchair program was off to a great start. Our assembly team went to work putting together the wheelchairs, and the team gave out 22 chairs. The patients ranged in age from young children to very elderly. One of the women brought in for a wheelchair by her mother was a homebound 44-year-old named Edna. Edna and her mother arrived at the clinic by taxi. Her mother’s friend helped her put Edna into the taxi and some of our Guatemalan volunteers brought her to the clinic. They waited for most of the day until it was their turn to see the doctor. Edna had never been seen by a physician before and her mother was her sole caretaker. Edna was a sweet young woman, with the most loving smile. Edna’s mother explained that when she needed to go out, she would have a member of her church come and stay with Edna. Edna spent her days indoors either in bed or in a chair as she had no mobility. We were able to offer both Edna and her mother a better quality of life, providing mobility with a wheelchair, so that they may to go to church and any other activities within their community. The team was filled with emotion as Edna and her mother left. Edna’s smile and her mother’s kind words were all the thanks needed and it was a great way to close out the day.
We are very much looking forward to continuing our work in Sanarate tomorrow. The compassion and care shown today by Estes Village Team 578 was a great example of God’s love.