Monday's morning devotional reflected on our obligation to leave this world better than when we found it. To do so, we were encouraged to work hand-in-hand and side-by-side with those who need help the most. I think this resonates with our team as we meet the incredible people of Guatemala, hearing their stories, and doing our best to improve their quality of life.
Yesterday was our first day of surgeries, running four operating rooms as well as the dental clinic and wheelchair clinic seeing and treating patients. After arriving to the hospital, our surgeons and their teams quickly assembled in their ORs and the pre-op beds were filled with our first patients of the day. The wheelchair team began assembling and fitting patients to chairs and the dental team started seeing their first patients. They will be treating the 6th graders of a local school throughout the week.
The wheelchair clinic saw many incredible patients. A father and daughter both in need of wheelchairs for mobility asissitace at home and around their community. Their embrace after being fitted to a chair was inspiring, full of joy and excitement for one another. A woman who was made fun of at school as a young girl due to her facial deformity. Her mother took her out of school and she never had the joy of many friends, an education, or marriage. Instead, she helped raise her younger siblings, nieces and nephews. Now, her younger sister cares for her but she has fallen multiple times and required multiple surgeries. Our mobility team helped her gain confidence to walk using a walker and fit her to a wheelchair for longer distances. A sister who was hit by the muffler of a public bus and has required months of surgeries and medical care for a broken leg. She is scheduled for her next surgery next month but is currently unable to walk without assistance. After traveling here in the back of a pick-up truck over a long distance with her injured leg, our team went above and beyond fitting her to a chair. They created a special extension for the wheel chair from the few tools they had available so the patient was able to elevate her leg but also maintained the ability to modify the chair to her needs after her upcoming surgeries.
We had a great first full day of surgeries and treating patients. This was a fantastic start to our week, working together to fulfill our mission. As we work closely with the people of Guatemala, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers.