Little Priscila is crawling!! She has been drinking her hi-calorie formula and her mom has been doing the exercises that the doctor recommended and she is growing!! We go to the doctor tomorrow to see if she has gained any weight and to pick up more formula! It is amazing how the moms attitude has changed and how with just some attention and the proper nutrition Priscila is obviously becoming better!
Last week was a crazy week...as it always is when it gets down to the last few weeks that I am here. I was made aware of a 10 year old child who was unable to pee, or so the mom said in the midst of her almost tears. Her son had had an infection and didnt tell anyone, he said for almost a month it hurt to pee and his penis was red and swollen, but being 10 he didnt want to tell his mom. Due to this infection the foreskin started healing and now he literally has to force his urine out of a almost non-existent hole. We are waiting for his appointment with Urology and then he will be circumcised.
I also traveled to Quito last week to take a little girl, 10 years old, who has a heart murmur to the Cardiologist. She was diagnosed more than 4 years ago but because her parents work daily jobs and do not have much money they were unable to take her to the doctor before. The medical director here made me aware of her case and i searched for a cardiologist who would be willing to do an echo for a discounted price. I found one and we made an appointment and we went to see him. We left on the 4am bus and arrived before the doctor. He evaluated the little girl and in the end her murmur is not dangerous! The mother was super happy and thankful...as was I! The day after we went to the doctor was her birthday, so we had breakfast together and bought her a ballon and teddy bear! This mother was so humble, she tried to pay for everything...she tried to give me money for breakfast and to pay the doctor but the truth is that she makes at most $7 a day. I explained to her that I have people in the US that donate money to my foundation for people just like her and her daughter...and she told me to be sure that I thanked all of you for her! So grateful and so awesome that her daughter is fine!
A few kids in Paragachi have been identified as needed psychological help, a few are being abused in the home and others are acting out in school. Therefore, I talked to a psychologist yesterday who is going to work with me! He is from the community and he is willing to work with me to help these kids! It will be a slow start since he does not have another job and I will be trying to raise money to pay him, but the best part is that he WANTS to help his community! AND he has a degree and experience in psychology!! This week we will talk more and work out more details but this is a great start to addressing MANY situations going on in Paragachi.
While waiting to see the doctor with the child who could not urinate, a little girl came into the clinic with a “tumor” on the side of her face/head. It is probably the size of a baseball on the left side, temple area. The mother told me that she is waiting to hear from a doctor at the childrens hospital in Quito to let her know when they will operate on her daughter. But...it will cost her over $2000 to have the surgery. $2000 is a number out of reach for this mother and her family, therefore I offered to consult with the plastic surgeons of Operation Smile to see if there was something that we could do. The answer is no...because it is more than something that a plastic surgeon can do, she is missing part of the boney structure of the head. Therefore, I will begin my search of who can help me help her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, she is totally “normal” as of now but this “tumor” is growing and it is growing rapidly. The mother said that she was born with it but very small, she is now 6 months old and it is baseball size. We need to take care of this and we need to take care of it soon. Pray for the resources please.
I will go to Guayaquil next week to work with Operation Smile again!! I am excited to see the team and to “fix” about 100 smiles!!
Thank you all again for your love and support, please keep these kids in your thoughts and prayers and I will be home in no time!!!