One of the rewards of coming back to the same mission location year after year, is seeing how patients who received a life-changing surgery are doing.
We have seen Suzely, a now 13-year-old girl that came to the team on the first year of the mission. Then 4 years old with a mass on the side of her face. For couple of years our team would work to remove more and more of the mass, it now finally gone!
We have a young man that cut his finger with a machete while working in the fields. Dr. Alley, (an original member from the first San Lucas mission) was able to re-attach the young man’s thumb. He has come by years later to shake his hand with his now mobile thumb!
Wilfredo also came to visit! You might remember Wilfredo from our San Lucas blogs last year. This two-year-old boy had a previous ostomy procedure reversed, “re-plumbing his internal track”, as the surgical team said, so he could go “potty” like a regular two-year-old.
The surgical team also called this case “the golden nugget”, after Wilfredo’s morning diaper was proof of a successful surgery and the life-changing opportunity for this little boy. I personally remember this moment as the translator doing rounds with Dr. Alley that morning. I can easily recall Wilfredo’s giggle when cold cream was applied to his bottom while his diaper was being changed.
He is now three years old, playing, laughing and being just like any other little boy with a life ahead of him. Not marginalized for a birth defect that would have kept him at home deprived most opportunity.
I have learned so many new health burdens and barriers that could mean death of a “quality-life” for a child… but to witness the hope and immense gratefulness from our young patient’s parents… that has been my own life-changing experience.