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724 Cahill/Dawson Surgery – Friday, 4-8-22

Today was our last day! I can’t believe how fast this week went by. We spent time in the morning checking on patients, and then we said our goodbyes to the patients and, of course, the lovely Guatemalan staff that we had the privilege to work with all week,

There was an extraordinary woman I met this week. Her name is Gloria, and she had her right leg amputated years ago. On Wednesday, she had her left knee replaced. Jesse, one of our excellent Physical Therapists (10+ FIP trips!), came to get my help with translating as she knew this would be complicated. Imagine having to recover from surgery and not having the support of your other leg. Gloria is strong, though, and she was very determined to get moving asap.

Jesse started her on a walker, thinking it would be the most stable option. But it was a struggle for Gloria. She could stand, but then the necessary hops were just too painful and awkward after that. So, after a rest, she tried a new route: crutches! Gloria has been using crutches for years, so we shouldn’t have been surprised, but low and behold, she up and took 100+ steps right away!

This morning I went to visit Gloria to see how she was feeling. She felt great but was incredibly emotional. She held my hand urgently and told me that her husband had passed away five months ago. She and her daughter miss him very much and think about him all the time, but she’d never dreamed about him so far. Last night she dreamed of him. She said he was standing in the doorway of the hospital room and told her that he loved her and that he was with her all the time. She told me she was so happy to hear from him in that way. She felt so comforted and connected to him in a way that she’d been missing these last five months.

I know that comfort will serve her well in her healing process, and I was so glad she shared that story with me last morning at The Obras.


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