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John Long, Pharmacist

This is my first trip with Faith in Practice on a surgery team. I was working in the pharmacy which was located in the PACU area.  Being a little unsure of what was expected of me on this trip, I was a little apprehensive, but was quickly put at ease by the friendly and fun-loving spirit of the team.

As this was Thursday, it was the final day of the surgeries and mobility clinic.  The day started with the usual superb devotional by Flavio, in which he spoke of love and compassion. Gigi was the opening act for the devotion and did a hilarious interpretive dance and song with the lyric “one more day”.  Several people spoke of the deep appreciation and admiration for the leaders, ie David, Neal, and Kathy.  It was a very emotional moment as several people shared how serving on the team had made a dramatic difference in their lives. The recurring themes for the week included the the observation of how each culture can learn from each other.  The people of Guatemala obviously take the care of their families very seriously, and their love for each other and their community is shown in their willingness to sacrifice for family members, with mothers often carrying a disabled child around for years.  Their gratitude was evident upon receiving a wheelchair or a corrective surgery.

By the end of the day, we had treated 79 children in our operating rooms since arriving on Saturday.  It was a rewarding and fruitful week.


 Kathie Empsucha, Mobility Clinic Intake Nurse

Our Final Day of Coordinated Chaos.

I will miss the chorus of English, Spanish Spanglish, Mayan, hammers and power drills.  It’s amazing to realize that we were able meet the mobility needs of all our patients. We were even able to connect with a local Rotary Club to arrange for the casting and splinting of a 1-year-old with club feet.  In total we provided 104 wheelchairs, 12 Pediatric special needs wheelchairs, as well as 42 varied assistive devices, walkers, crutches, and canes.  In return we were given love, gratitude, and the knowledge that we were able to change some lives for the better.

As Dr. McKay told me, watching these moms caring for their children he felt he was in the presence of something sacred, something holy.   Sadly, there were problems that we could not address and serious illnesses that we could not fix. But we offered our ears to hear their stories and their struggles. We offered smiles and tears. I am certain that I will never work in a better place with better people.


To support this team and their commitment to our patient’s visit:

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