Friday, July 10, 2009

Volunteers Help Restore Health and Lives

The best part of today was checking in on all of the patients from the last two days. I’ve been following the case of Sixto Lopez since he came to the screening site three days ago. A 61-year-old man, his job is “working with the machete” –a field worker, but he was very specific that he didn’t cut cane. Maize and sorghum (I believe I got my plant terminology correct) are his specialty.

His son and grandson are also fieldworkers in the same line of work. Sixto has not been able to work for several months, however, because the scar from an old gallbladder removal has herniated, forcing him out of the fields. His family has been suffering without the extra income—so much so that neither his son nor grandson could afford the time off from work, so his granddaughter-in-law, his grandson’s wife, came with him on escort duty.

I saw him again last night in the Hotel, where Project HOPE volunteer Doctor Bob gave a final exam just to make sure of the morning’s work (see photo). His granddaughter, Nicoleta, is just as shy as the rest of the Nicaraguan women I’ve met—but very friendly once they smile and open up to a conversation.

Today was Sixto’s surgery, and everything went “swimmingly,” as Doctor Bob would say in his best faux-Monty Python. I gather that that means, “very good.”

I caught back up with Sixto and Nicoleta in the Post-op ward after the surgery, but Sixto was indisposed to the photo op. I took this of Nicoleta and me instead. That’s a huge smile for the photo, for a stoic Nicaraguan.

Check back tomorrow for another heartwarming patient story. And as always, thanks for reading-Jacob

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