Today, the medical and dental teams travelled to Belen, a town not far from Gracias, and felt pampered by travelling on paved roads for a change. We set up our pharmacy, medical clinic, and dental clinic in three separate school classrooms while the student graciously moved outside into the sunshine to learn.
In the medical clinic, we saw a 4 month old infant with congenital heart disease who presented in heart failure with concomitant failure to thrive. He had been previously diagnosed with pulmonary stenosis and had a pre-arranged follow-up appointment for 3 weeks from now, but luckily we were able to see him today and recognize his symptoms as urgent. Fortunately, through the partnerships we've created over the years of this mission, we were able to use our contacts to have this baby seen in follow up tomorrow.
The dental clinic had another high-volume day with 142 patients being assessed and treated, including many of the teenage students from the school.
Sometimes the smallest contributions to our mission can make a big difference. We wanted to send our sincere thanks to two very special girls from London, Ontario, Julianna and Nellie, who took the time to make bracelets for many of the hundreds of kids we see each day. They are a hit!
Today the rehab team saw a 16 year old young man who was clinically diagnosed as having Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. He had been previously spending much of his day in a small children's lawn chair which caused him to have a very stooped, forward-flexed posture. Our therapists were able to use a plastic chair and foam padding to create a seat for him so he is able to sit upright at the same height as other teens and adults in a seated position. We hope this change will enable him to have greater dignity and a better quality of life.
The entire team reunited at the end of the day at CRILE as some of the team members had yet to see the clinic. When we arrived, the waiting area was full as there were many patients who unexpectedly travelled from the nearby town of Los Flores - some of whom had heard about the clinic through a radio interview Dr. Klein had done on the local radio station earlier this week. A dental team member joined the group at CRILE today and provided fluoride treatment, toothbrushes, and toothpaste to the children there. In the end, all members present ended up pitching in to see the last few patients of the day and worked well into evening.