Walter when he first came to us
Thanks to the generous supporters of Partner for Surgery, so far in 2014 we have been able to provide medical care to 1542 desperately poor Guatemalans, and perform life changing surgery for 687. Here is the story of one of our pediatric patients, Walter.
Walter is a delightful 10 year old boy who was seen by one of our health promoters near his rural village of San Miguel, Chisec, and later escorted to Antigua, Guatemala for successful surgery. Translated from his indigenous language into Spanish and then English, here are the words of Walter and his father, Don Juan:
Walter (On being examined prior to surgery): I feel sad about the tumor that I have. My mom tells me I was born normal, but when I was three the tumor appeared and my dad never had money to take me to a doctor. It gradually grew more and more until it reached this size. Now I am ten years old and in second grade. Other students tease me because of my tumor and because we have no money to do anything about it.”
Don Juan (explaining how Walter’s surgery was possible): “Someone came to Walter’s school to help students and families who had health problems and no money. They saw Walter and took his information. A month later this person told me they had arranged a medical day for our village and that I should take my son to be seen. They told me ‘do not worry, we will take care of your transportation and food and someone will go with you.’ That’s when I learned about Partner for Surgery.”
Don Juan continued: “After Walter was seen during the medical day, Nativity (the name of a Partner for Surgery Health Promoter) told me we would have to travel to Antigua so that my son could have an operation. We traveled with Nativity and a small group of people who also needed surgery. When we got to the hospital, we were told they first had to do a test called an MRI or something and I was desperate because I told them we were poor and did not have money for such a test, but thank God, they paid for this test to examine my son. Then I was told we had to wait another week so doctors could see Walter and decide if they could operate. I said no, that I must return to work so my family could have enough to eat. Thankfully, I was convinced to wait – I didn’t really want to but they persuaded me. Thanks to God, they operated on my son and he is happy. We are a poor family. Our house is made of straw and sticks and we would never have had money for surgery.”
Walter received his surgery on August 27th of this year from IBERMED. When he woke up, the first thing Walter said was “Thank you, thank Señora Isa (another Partner for Surgery Health Promoter) for convincing my dad to stay and thank you for staying with us. I’m happy because now I’m going back to school and no one will tease me because I’m cured. Thanks to Partner for Surgery, I can fulfill my dream of being big and healthy in my life. Thank God for saving me from everything and also Partner for Surgery, thank you very, very much.”
Walter, and other patients like him, are why we do what we do. Thank you for helping us to change their lives!
Walter and his father
Walter before his surgery
Walter after his surgery