November 2015 Trip Report
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
To my knowledge (or at least in my memory) this is the first triple we've had. Two you can guess, Lopez Mateo and Laguna San Ignacio (LSI). Number three was a wound care clinic in Ciudad Constitucion at their elderly care home.
Also a special event at Lopez Mateos - We provided a child size wheel chair and specialized hearing aids to a five year old boy with significant disabilities. Child size wheelchairs, in this case with an eleven inch wide seat, are hard to find as a donation, but we found one! (While we're on the subjects of wheelchairs, we had a request for a large size wheelchair for an elderly women. My research shows that a standard wheelchair has a seat width of 18". We're looking for a 20" wide, but preferably a 22" wide.) The hearing aids came courtesy of our Santa Barbara friends, the Aeromedicos. If not donated the hearing aid would have cost $7000.00 in the US.
The Aeromedicos also provided two dentists for Lopez Mateos and an audiologist so we were able to offer a hearing clinic for the second time since they began supporting us. When needed the audiologist was able to fit hearing aids. It's a service I hope we'll be able to continue when the Aeromedicos regain access to their clinic and are no longer supporting us. Details of this highly successful clinic and another perspective on this memorable weekend can be founded, as usual, on Alicia's blog http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com
LSI was staffed with a strong contingent also. Because of Aeromedicos support at Lopez we were able to staff LSI with two dentists, a hygienist, and two dental assistants. This is the strongest showing for LSI dental in a very long time. We also provided a medical doctor and other support personnel to put on an exceptionally well staffed clinic overall.
Constitucion honored us with a Saturday night fiesta with a range of entertainment that I and many others considered to be amazing. The warmth of the reception we received can not really be described in words, it must be experienced. We were able to return the favor by providing a wound care nurse who saw patients on Saturday at the elderly care facility and even performed one home visit. We also provided 25 sheet sets for the facility and several bags of quality used clothing for the orphanage.
We had a special moment at the Constitucion fiesta when our medical coordinator, Gail Brown, was approached by a gentlemen, Humberto, the Samaritans helped many years ago. He was extremely grateful for the help he received and shared a scrapbook filed with somewhat aged photographs of his experience with the Sams. Gail was a bit misty eyed from the experience and I remember some words from her I recall as "We really do make a difference!
Here's the story as written by Gail - "Humberto came to our clinic approximately 11 years ago looking for medical assistance. He had been in a car accident years ago, broken both of his legs, which had never healed correctly. Thus unable to walk without assistance. We brought him back to Phoenix, after many months of working through visa issues, finding physicians and hospitals to donate their services, and homes of our volunteers to let him recuperate at. His surgeries were successful and he was able to go home and lead a normal life. To see him standing upright, looking healthy and happy did bring tears to my eyes!"
Our next clinic will be December 18-20. The current plan is for Lopez Mateos only, but as you have seen before, that can change if we have appropriate staffing to run two clinics. This will also be the trip where Samaritan Santa will hand out backpacks full of toys to the children of the Hotel Serenidad employees. If you've experienced this event in the past, you know it adds a special holiday sparkle to our clinic trip.