The longer our stay in Honduras the more I experience the “highs” and “lows”…yesterday, we were mourning the loss of little Nelly and today we are celebrating the successful surgery on Brayan. Two weeks ago, Tom was introduced to this 10 year old who had an undescended testicle and right inguinal hernia. He discussed the case with a prominent surgeon in San Pedro Sula who expressed his concern that ideally, this surgery would have been done by the time he was two years old. Without surgery, there could be significant consequences including cancer.
Originally, we thought we would coordinate a trip to San Pedro Sula for Brayan’s operation. Fortunately, a dentist from Florida (Dave Girlinghouse) who was working in Flores, referred this case to his colleagues working at St. Benedict Joseph Medical Center, in Comayagua. A U.S. surgeon who is part of the Light of the World Charity successfully operated on Brayan.
Tom and I drove Brayan and his mother to the hospital and settled them in, reassuring them we would be back later in the day to see how the surgery had gone. We spoke with the medical staff, and were introduced to “Brother T”, a Franciscan Friar who is part of the organization (along with Light of the World) which run the hospital.
After picking up “our kids” at the bilingual school, we stopped by the hospital where we found a relieved mom and her son anxiously wanting to return home. We talked with the medical folks and they said they could spend the night, which we encouraged mom to do, but she was insistent they return home where two of her other children would be waiting. Since Brayan had been given “the o.k.” from the doctors, we agreed to take them and told mom we would meet them in front of the hospital.
To pass the time, we entertained our little students by buying ice cream. We were so surprised to look down and see Brayan and mom appear so quickly, and immediately noticed he still had an iv in his hand! Tom and I ushered them back inside, tracked down a nurse, and proceeded with the discharge process. They were given written instructions and pain medication, and then I remembered…mom does not know how to read, and asked the nurse to explain it orally.
Once again, we were reminded of the limitations when someone is illiterate, and the consequences of not having the opportunity of an education. Gingerly, we drove everyone back home to Flores. Tom carried little Brayan over a hand made bridge, into his one room home which had a sheet hanging, dividing the family’s bedroom from the living area. It’s so humbling seeing how people live with such little. We clarified instructions for pain management and reassured them we would return the following day for a “house call.”
As we returned home, I thought of “Brother T’s” gracious compliment given to us earlier in the day…”you two sound like good samaritans” …no words could be more motivating.