Sometimes the poverty can be overwhelming, and you truly do not know what to do. There really is nothing one person can do to change a community. But one person can touch another, even if it is just one at a time. I like this article from the hospital website that reminds us to keep trying to make a difference even under seemingly unsurmountable odds.
A missionary doctor with great determination
Nightfall arrived quite some time ago, as Dr. Martina John knocks on the door of a clay house in Curahuasi. She wants to visit her patient Maria Pacheca.* This mother of 2 small children suffers with Lupus, an autoimmune system disease. The doctor walks into the dreary room and finds Maria on a mattress. Her legs are swollen and her stomach extended with water. A gaping wet wound is on her buttocks, because she has been lying in one position and the skin has rubbed off.
Martina looks over the gloomy room. Plastic bags are hanging on the walls to cover up the spots where the cement is falling off. Since there is no furniture, the room is quite disorderly. “This is not a nice place to die”, is the thought going through the missionary doctors’ mind.
A few weeks ago, a computer tomography showed the suspicion of tuberculosis in the right lung. Dr. John sent Maria to a pulmonologist in Abancay with the request that a bronchoscopy be performed. Their comment: “Maria, there is no hope for you anymore!”
“We have to admit her to the hospital- Diopsi Suyana”, Martina says. “I don’t want to go into another hospital”, Maria says “they treated me so badly in Abancay!” The doctor remains quiet and looks sadly at the two children who are still lying under their covers. When Maria dies they will become orphans. And their mother is only 35 years old.
Dr. John brought several medications with her. Antibiotics, pain meds and even a medication to get rid of the edema. “Tommorow I will return to take care of your wound!” She comforts the patient. “Hasta manana!” (See you tomorrow).
At midnight the doctor writes an email to her husband: ”We will fight. She is way too young and her children way too small!” – Is it possible to win this fight?- * name changed