Southwest Chapter in Guatemala
Reward for Service
Often medical volunteers are asked why they spend their time and money for surgical trips to help children with very little promise of health care in their own country.
This photo helps answer the question. This patient hugs her plastic surgeon, Dr. Albert Andres who joined 13 other surgery team members on a trip to Hospital Nino Jesus (Fundación Pediátrica Guatemalteca) in August 2014.
A Surprise Visit
Karla Muss was 9 years old when she was struck in her bed by shrapnel from a grenade during one of the conflicts between army and guerrillas during Guatemala's Civil War in the 1980s. Her feet were struck and badly damaged. The local doctors did the best they could with grafting them, but she could barely walk and was always in pain and often bled.
Her family took her to a Healing the Children team visiting in San Cristobal Verapaz (this was before Hospital Nino Jesus was completed in 2007). They could not help her there, but Karla was eventually accepted for surgery in Grand Rapids, MI.
She lives in Grand Rapids now, is married and has a 15 year old daughter and 13 year old son and is very happy. She was in Guatemala City visiting family this week when she heard Healing the Children Southwest was there with a surgical team, and came immediately to the clinic to see if she could help with translation. Karla's desire was to pay back, which she did, putting mothers at ease for two days during the surgical mission.
We thank all of the volunteers for this surgical trip to Guatemala City. We have more photos from the trip on our website.
Around the same time Dr. Bradley Raisher, a cardiologist from Albuquerque, NM, was invited to Assade Clinic in the village of San Luis Itzapa, Guatemala. Dr. Raisher provided echocardiogram evaluations for 46 children at the Assade Clinic. He had to borrow and hand-carry the echocardiograph. More photos are available on our website.