Day 3 started at 7am, as we left Alfredo House and started our journey to Los Globos, our third village of the week. A concrete road turned into a dirt path, which led us down a windy, rocky road along mountain edges, enabling us to see mountains in the distance, and a valley below blanketed by a majestic patchwork of coffee plants and corn fields. The mountain vistas were tremendous, and served as a beautiful distraction from the bumpy terrain. We eventually arrived at the village, and are greeted by a row of smiling young Honduran children in their Sunday-best, thanking us for coming, and making sure that we don’t forget to come back next year.
This clinic day was unexpected in so many ways. For example, the number of villagers we anticipated seeing was around 200, but we ended up seeing 298. That can happen when a FOB mountain team comes to a village because word of mouth reaches neighboring villages, and attracts so many others eager for medical treatment. But nothing surprised us more than the numerous incredible stories that were about to unfold before us.
1. While waiting in line, a 27-year-old man collapsed and had a generalized seizure. Our emergency medicine-trained team members led the way, quickly responding to stabilize him. We placed him on his side, kept from harming himself or others, and the seizure eventually stopped. Then, a second seizure started! At this point, we placed an IV, started IV fluids, and tested his blood using an iSTAT machine donated by Abbott Labs, all outside in front of the village school converted into a mobile clinic. Miraculously, a neighbor appeared, after rushing to the young man’s home after the first seizure started, and gave us the man’s emergency seizure medication bag containing a vial of diazepam. We pushed 5mg diazepam twice, stopping the seizure. After the post ictal confusion resolved a few hours later, we found out that he and his grandmother trekked the mountain paths to the clinic early, and although he was able to take his morning dose of anti-seizure medications, he forgot to pack his mid-day dose.
2. A 19 y/o girl accompanied her large family to the medical clinic for treatment, and only after all are seen, does she mention she has left ear pain. After cleaning some wax from the ear, a green bead is seen. She initially denies that she placed a bead in her ear, but upon asking how long she has not been able to hear from that ear, she admits it has been a problem for 9 years. At that point it dawned on her: she has had this bead in her ear for 9 years, causing her chronic pain.
3. A 11 y/o girl was brought in by her aunt, who also brought her four children. Three of the four children have cortical blindness, and the 11 year-old has a meningomyelocele, and has suffered from urinary and stool incontinence all her life. She wears a diaper daily. Dr. Ed palpated her abdomen full of stool, which caused her to cry due to pain. Dr. Ed later found out that many years ago the girl’s biological mother wanted nothing of her, and her aunt has taken care of her ever since. Amazed, Dr. Ed asked the aunt, “how do you do all that you do, taking care of all of these children?” The aunt pointed at the sky, smiling, and said “with God’s help!”
4. A 3-year old girl walked in with a 71 y/o man. She’s well cared for, and with other family members. Later, Andrew found out that the 71 y/o man adopted his 3-year old great granddaughter when she was born. His 17-year-old grandson met an American girl and she became pregnant. However, the American girl left her daughter with the grandson, saying “you take care of her.” Because the 17 y/o could not care for the infant on his own, the 71 y/o man assumed responsibility for the girl, and continues to work today to raise her.
Crosses and dedications for the day:
Laurie gave her cross to the grandmother who has taken care of the 27-year-old man with seizures all his life, and was touched by her dedication to care for him and keep him safe.
Andres was touched by the 27-year old with seizures, and cared for him until he recovered from his two seizures. He stood in amazement, at both his grandmother’s unwavering love, and the hardships the young man has, and will continue to face, for the rest of his life.
Dr. Ed gave a cross to the 11-year-old girl suffering with meningomyelocele, and praised Friends of Barnabas for providing her the surgeries she needs to help her debilitating condition.
Kelly gave her cross to the 19-year-old girl suffering chronic severe ear pain for nine years due to a bead in her ear. She will be referred to a surgeon to have it removed.
Andrew was touched by the 71 y/o grandfather’s commitment to care for his 3 y/o great granddaughter.
Lucas gave his cross to a brave little boy who had multiple teeth pulled, and had to wait and see an older man have his teeth pulled using several instruments.
And an incredible team-effort from Dr. Carlo, Brooke, Danny, Dane, Wendy, Kelly, Andres, Samantha, John, Lucas and Laurie for making sure that the young man recovered completely from his multiple seizures.