“Ask him if he would be willing to let his little girl go the United States to get help for his leg”. As the words left my mouth, the significance hit my heart. I just asked a translator to ask a 32 year old man to trust total strangers with his 9 year-old daughter.
The patient cannot be treated in Nicaragua. She has a congenital defect in her foot, ankle & leg. With one leg more than six inches shorter than the other, watching her walk is akin to watching a three-legged race. Life is a struggle. It is already hard to live in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. Life with a disability can be a long death sentence.
For instance, one of the first patients I saw was a girl who fell out of a tree. She broke her wrist and now the bones were mal-formed. She was lucky that there wasn’t pain or loss of mobility. She was unlucky, because in the words of her mom, “She won’t make a good wife because she can’t make tortillas”.
Ryan and I are making a lot of great connections with wonderful doctors who are interested in helping with patients in the U.S. The team at IMAHelps is top-notch. I am thoroughly impressed with their ability to help hundreds and hundreds of people in a day.
We’re working on bringing the 9 year-old girl (Freschan) to the U.S. Her dad understood the sacrifice he would have to make in order for his girl to have her leg. He told us, “She is a gift from God. You (our team) are a gift from God.