This year was a mission for the books! It was truly a blessing for our whole team to reunite in Guatemala this past June for our first full mission post pandemic. Our team consisted of 2 Guatemalan physicians, 3 American physicians , 1 American nurse practitioner, 1 American pharmacist, 2 Guatemala eye specialists, 2 Guatemalan dental specialists, 6 American nurses, 1 American EMT, 4 Guatemalan medical students, 2 American medical students, 2 logistics coordinators, and 9 Guatemala translators! Not including all the support provided by Parroquia San Antonio de Padua (San Antonio de Padua Parish), who hosted us and our patients during the week. Working together, we saw over 900 patients over the course of 4 days of clinic. Our patients ranged in age from a few months old to 90 +, and each presented with a unique set of health concerns. Primary areas of concern include malnutrition (especially in children), uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, parasitic infections, and chronic pain.
One of our team members, reflecting on the trip shares “… The love everyone gave during the mission, that was so conthagious, was enough gasoline to get energy again. That was a wholesome moment that I’ll carry with me because love is a good way to motivate us to do things to help others.”
By God’s grace we were able to intervene to save the lives of a 10 year old child and a 1 month old baby and send them for the emergent care they needed. With the help of our Guatemalan eye specialists, many of our patients were able to be properly evaluated and scheduled for life changing eye surgery to greatly improve their comfort and sight. Although we cannot stay in the community full time, we do our best to ensure continuity of care by referring patients to local specialists if needed and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and wellness visits by our in-county missionary, Hector.