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The Clegg team again embarked on a journey to Antigua to perform total joint replacement surgeries. We began the week coming together as a group greeting each other like old family and welcoming all our new members. The Familiar sites, sounds and smells of Antigua envelop us and it feels like home.

We make it to Obras on Sunday and begin the process of preparing for the week. The team works swiftly and efficiently as everything is now more familiar to us. The Obras staff is welcoming and it is nice to see some friendly faceswe recognize.

The plan is set. Assignments are made and we are poised to help as many as we can. Throughout the week, the team completes 34 total joint replacement surgeries. Every patient is in desperate need of this surgery. Their gait is off. Their bones deformed. Some are unable to walk to the OR. You can see the pain they are in, but they are stoic. They show gratitude in place of fear. They wake from their surgery smiling. One patient, Mrs. Lopez Contreros says she is happier than we are. She prays for God to bless us because she has no pain.

Another patient, Felipa, was unable to do domestic work for years due to debilitating pain from her arthritis. Her inability to walk or stand for long periods prevented her from even being able to cook for her family at times. Felipa had a total knee replacement and was able to walk two flights of stairs the day after surgery. She says this and our loving attentive care are a gift from God.

Mrs. Sandoval shows off her new walking skills on video for us. She is excited about walking without pain and being able to properly care for her family.
Every patient had an inspiring journey. They touch us and will stay with us. By the week’s end, we are saddened to be leaving Guatemala and will try to keep the good feelings with us as we treat patients back home.

Part of what brings the team so close together is seeing the difference in the patients, but the other part of what bonds us is the difference we see in each other. We had several new team members this year. However, by the end of the week, we were once again family. Our final devotional for the week strengthened that bond forever reminding us to have gratitude and that sometimes all you need is a heart that sings hallelujah!

-Elaina Turner