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Hi Everyone! It’s the last day of surgeries! We were greeted with light rainfall on our way into the hospital as a farewell for our final operations. The team is well-rested from last night and ready to help with our final scheduled patients waiting anxiously for their operation.

Today, we have three great stories from our patients to share with you, including one from an energetic mother, another from a dedicated futbol (soccer) enthusiast, and the last from a local pair of siblings here in San Felipe.

Maria came to the hospital from the local town of San Felipe, where she lives with her daughter. She had been suffering from a hernia for thirty(!) years, severely impacting her quality of life and mobility. When she woke up in recovery, Maria was taken aback. She had only been asleep for a very short while and now that she was awake, there was no pain. Maria was astounded! She was so very thankful to our staff whom she said “God had sent”. Maria kept repeating over and over to every staff member she saw how so grateful she for her surgery. Overflowing with joy, Maria endearingly referred to our team leaders as “papito” and “mamita”, very kind terms here in Guatemala.
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Juan traveled over 3 hours to the hospital for surgery to be performed on his back, as a condition had been restricting his movement for many months. He has a wife and 5 daughters, and works as a tailor, making clothes from his family’s home. Juan’s passion, besides tailoring, is futbol. Before his injury, he played futbol every weekend. Juan was extremely grateful for his liberating surgery, and offered to make a tailored suit for one of our interpreters who was assisting him. Before he left the building, Juan admitted he might try to play futbol with his friends the very next day for the first time in months.

Freddie was brought to the hospital by his sister Lucia from their home 90 minutes away. Lucia is a housewife and Freddie is a bill collector in his village. He has been suffering from a growth on the back of his head for 2 years, impairing both his daily functioning and his social life. His surgery was complicated and lengthy, but was successfully completed by one of our experienced OR teams. While his patient rested after the surgery, Freddie’s surgeon comforted Lucia, assuring her that the operation was successful.

As we wrapped up our last day of operations, the team began to repack the tools and materials that we had set up just days before. Our team was careful to clean off every machine and storage rack, to leave it in better shape than we found it. It was an extremely successful mission week. Although somewhat tired from the long work days, we could leave knowing we had made a positive difference to many lives. And one last time, the team loaded onto the bus back to our hotel, leaving Hospital Hilario Gallindo for another FIP mission team, coming the next week, to perform life-changing operations for the Guatemalan people.

Thank you for reading our blogs! This is the last of our Surgery blogs, although we will have one more blog up in a few days with a wrap-up and reflection on our week in Guatemala.

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