On Sunday, Team 752 woke up bright and early for triage day! The morning was full of birds chirping, a tremendously beautiful view of the mountain, as well as excitement and anticipation flowing through the crisp Guatemalan air for the first day. The team was full of long-time volunteers ranging from 2 to 30 years as well as some new joiners, all eager to learn more about the patients and support them in all aspects of their journey! The team assembled for an early 6 am start and we began our day with our daily devotional. Father Lahart led us through an examining meditation, and shared about God’s voice with a team focus on spending time to listen to ourselves and each other. Long-time team members shared their unique perspectives, and what they most look forward to over the week on this life-saving medical mission – and everyone was full of smiles!
As we all made our way to Los Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro, conversations were buzzing between old and new friends, excited about the day full of patient evaluations and surgery planning. As soon as we arrived at the Obras, it was evident the team was a well-oiled machine. Everyone divided and went to their various areas of specialty from the triage rooms, pharmacy, operating rooms, surgery area, and operations space and quickly went to work.
As soon we the day began, stories of the patients and their families began to surface. Numerous patients came from far and wide, traveling between 6 to 12 hours by car through rural Guatemala, and some even traveling 22 hours by walking from their homes to see the Faith in Practice ortho team in Antigua. A few of the stories are shared below.
Juan has experienced pain for 6 years, with bone-on-bone fracture that had not healed properly. Yolanda has been experiencing 10-years of chronic knee pain and was continuing to work and be a family caregiver through extreme pain. Elena, traveled from over 10 hours away, in hopes for surgery this week. David has extremely bowed legs and has been using crutches to move around for over 4 years. Flore was scheduled to receive a knee transplant a few years ago, which was pushed due to the arrival of covid, and would now get a much needed and anticipated knee replacement. David was in a motorcycle accident, and a recent surgery left him with a highly infected leg in need of surgery. These are only a few examples from the more than 70 patients Team 752 saw on Sunday and scheduled for surgery this week.
In addition to the surgeries, Team 752 has two internal medicine doctors, Paul and Barb, that provided screenings for all patients coming to the Obras for the wheelchair clinic. This clinic focuses on providing wheelchairs to local Guatemalan people that are no longer able to walk, and need wheelchairs to assist and improve their physical quality of life and well-being. A huge shout out to the wheelchair team of Kathy, Debbie, and Katherine for assembling and fitting 40 wheelchairs for local Guatemalan people.
Father Lahart said it best “Let us go forward and do God’s work!”
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