Thursday, February 28, 2013

Concrete Pour In La Ceiba, Honduras

On February 28, 2013 we poured a concrete floor/roof in our downtown ministry center in La Ceiba, Honduras. It will be a roof for a new church, a kitchen and a center for homeless kids and it will be a floor for an apartment and a theological seminary.

Watch this 1 minute and 25 second video for total coolness:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A full-service clinic

Pregnant momies, then new babies.  Sending out for exams, and returning with results.  Advising patients to change diet or other things, and seeing things come to fruition.  This is one of the great things I've seen over the almost 5 years of doing clinic in Armenia Bonito.  But let's face it - I am "just a nurse" and there are LOTS of things I just can't do.  Enter Dr. Roger.  This week one of my additional dreams came true.  Obviously, the opening of the clinic was the first.  Today I saw the second.

Last week an elderly lady came to the clinic.  After a thorough physical exam, and taking the patient history, Dr. Roger was suspicious about some things - so sent her into town for multiple tests.  She returned today for a consult and to have Dr. Roger read the results.  His suspicions were confirmed.  She had multiple abdominal cancerous massess.  So he called for a family meeting later in the afternoon.  At 1:30 all of the family arrived - there were at least 10 family members in Dr. Roger's consult room.  He was able to spend a considerable amount of time telling them their options, what to expect and answered their questions.  It was a sad time indeed, and yet I felt such a sense of peace that they were given such a special time to sit with Dr. Roger and answer all their questions.

So grateful for this....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grand Opening of New Medical Clinic in Honduras

On February 21, 2013 we hosted the grand opening of our new medical clinic outside of La Ceiba, Honduras. The clinic is called "The Tree Of Life" clinic and is located in the 3,000-person community of Armenia Bonito.

Watch this two-minute video to see the grand opening:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Medical Clinic In Honduras

Our new medical clinic received permission from the Honduran government to open our doors. Here is a brief look at the new medical clinic located outside of La Ceiba, Honduras in the 3,000-person community of Armenia Bonito. The clinic will open for bustiness on February 21st.

Watch this 3 minute video to take a tour of the new clinic:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Trinity Pres in La Ceiba, Honduras - February 2013

February 2-9, 2013 Trinity Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg, PA took a short-term mission trip to serve with our full-time mission team in La Ceiba, Honduras.

Watch this 2 minute, 15 second video to see their work:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lives saved and benches built

the crew with Dr. Roger
Today ended a four day clinic/construction/English Class/Kids Club week for Trinity Church.  Greg Moore is a physician who has been coming down to Honduras twice a year since we arrived almost 5 years ago.  His heart is here.  His son traveled with him this trip, Mike, who is a returnee and Steve joined the group to round out this amazing team.

There simply is TOO much to cover to address all that happened this week, so I'll highlight two things that have a direct impact on our ministry.

The first (and may not seem like the most important, but when you've been waiting almost 5 years to have a clinic, you will understand) is the construction of four exam tables.  Our deer sweet friend Tom DeKleer had four exam tables sent down for the clinic.  They arrived about a week ago, and the guys took a day to put them together.  Here is Rebekah making sure they are okay :-)

The second thing that happened (besides the 195 patients we saw, 44 ultrasounds done) - were two of the ultrasounds and what the results were.  Two VERY pregnant mommies were told that their placenta was completely covering the cervix.  Okay - so what does that mean to the average jo?!  That means there is ZERO chance that the moms can deliver their babies vaginally and need a c-section.  If they hadn't had known about this, the moms would have gone into labor and the placenta would have started tearing and the high risk here is for bleeding out (that means both the mom AND the baby could die).   In otherwords - 4 lives were saved.  It certainly was a divine providential moment that we were there right before the moms would have delivered their babies to let them know this crucial information.  SO cool!

I could go on and on and on about the interesting and cool cases we had (including the 2.78cm GALLSTONE that was diagnosed) but I would probably bore 90% of my audience.  So, I will end here with a very complete week completed, and a day of rest needed.

My dad arrives on Saturday and I'm giggling in joyful excitement!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Medical care in a crisis situation

Teresa, one of the women in the community that we work in approached me and told me that her mother was "very ill".  I had been looking in on Teresa and her mom for quite some time.  She had diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which were not controlled well with medicine.  She had been in and out of the hospital often over the last year.  Teresa told me that her mom was vomiting blood, that she was not responding when they talked to her, and was lying listless in bed.  I told her that she needed to call the ambulance services immediately and take her to the hospital!  Teresa looked at me with a resigned look on her face which showed me she was ready to accept the inevitable.  Her mother was going to die.  Teresa looked at me and told me the Intensive Care Units in the hospital were closed - they wouldn't be able to take her anyway.

My eyes got big, and I shook my head in complete sorrow!  Having just lost my own mother over a year ago, I knew the anguish she was going through.  The next day I read the paper, and this is what I saw:

Sin fondos para abrir sala de ciudados intensivos (There are no funds to open the intensive care units)

This was the headline in the local paper.  The ICU's were closed due to lack of funds.  I read on.  

"Lamentables condiciones" (deplorable conditions) was the heading of the next section.

“En la sala de emergencia hemos notado que por horas queda manchado el suelo con sangre cuando es ingresado un paciente herido debido a la falta de personal de limpieza”, expresó. “El olor que queda en la sala es insoportable para los que tenemos que esperar por nuestros familiares”.

("In the emergency room we have noticed that for hours the floor is soiled with blood from a patient admitted with a severe wound due to lack of staff to clean it," he said. "The smell that is in the room is unbearable for those who have to wait for our family".)

Isidro Menjívar indicó que tuvo que sacar a su esposa del área de maternidad porque no soportaban los zancudos debido al estancamiento del agua cuando llueve. “Preferimos que se terminara de recuperar en la casa porque había muchos mosquitos. Temíamos que pudiera contraer una enfermedad si se quedaba aquí”, comentó. 

(Isidro Menjívar said that he had to remove his wife from maternity because they endured mosquitoes due to the stagnation of the water when it rains. "We prefer that she would recover in our home because there were many mosquitoes. We were afraid we could contract a disease if she stayed here,"he said.

Los pacientes siguen enfrentándose a la escasez de materiales para las cirugías, como jeringas, guantes, esparadrapo e incluso ropa para ser operados. Adquirirlos es un gasto para ellos y en muchas ocasiones no los pueden comprar. Las batas quirúrgicas tienen un precio de 300 lempiras cada una y el set de quirófano desechable asciende a 1,700 lempiras.  

(Patients continue to face a shortage of materials for surgeries, such as syringes, gloves, tape and even surgical clothing. Acquiring them is an expense for the patients and many cannot buy them. Surgical gowns are priced at 300 lempiras ($15) and a set of disposable surgical equipment is 1,700 lempiras ($85). The average Honduran makes about $15.00 a day.

Don Gerardo Alfredo Matute también ha tenido que incurrir en gastos desde que su esposa fue llevada a la sala de labor y parto. “Desde que se internó hemos gastado unos 1,500 lempiras porque en el hospital no tienen nada”, se quejó.  

(Don Gerardo Alfredo Matute has also had to incur expenses since his wife was taken to the labor and delivery room. "Since she was admitted we have spent some 1,500 lempiras because at the hospital they have nothing" ($75).

“Las cerámicas están quebradas, las paredes siguen sucias, cuando llueve hay goteras por doquier y se nos dice que no hay presupuesto para reparar estas deficiencias”, dijo Victoria Vásquez, secretaria general del Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Salud (Sitrasa). El cielo raso sobre el pasillo que lleva a las salas de cirugía, maternidad y ginecología está deteriorado. 

("Tile is broken, the walls are dirty, and when it rains there are leaks everywhere and we are told there is no budget to repair these deficiencies", said Victoria Vasquez, general Secretary of the Trade Union of health workers (Sitrasa). The ceiling of the corridor that leads to the surgery rooms, maternity and gynaecology are deteriorated.")

“La salud de los pacientes peligra porque, en lugar de estar protegidos, en el moho se pueden almacenar bacterias que les podrían causar más enfermedades”, indicó.  

("The health of patients are at risk because, instead of being protected, there is mildew and bacteria which could cause more diseases," he said.)

I can't make this stuff up! This is real, and is happening NOW all across the country, and specifically in our little town of La Ceiba, Honduras. This makes what we do even MORE important! We are providing basic health care, preventative medicine, and patient education to the severe poor of the city.