Meet Roy. 

Roy is a playful 3-year-old boy living with his family in Ongoto Bajo, an impoverished community on the outskirts of Tena. Read Roy’s story to learn about how MEDLIFE fights against unequal access to high quality medical care every day. 

Access to high quality medical care in Roy’s community 

We first met Roy at one of our Mobile Clinics where we bring free, high quality medical care directly to communities who lack basic health services. Students from Universidad de Puerto Rico-Aguadilla, University of North Dakota, and Georgia State University joined us at this clinic as part of a Service Learning Trip and helped to make the clinic possible. Roy was suffering from a high fever and extreme pain in his hip at the slightest movement or touch. The pain left him unable to play, walk, or go to school and learn. 

The conditions in Roy’s community added to the challenges his family faced. Roy’s father worked hard on the farm every day to provide for his family. To make matters worse, there was limited access to high quality medical care in their community. The constraints of poverty meant that Roy’s condition continued to deteriorate, until he found MEDLIFE at one of our Mobile Clinics. 

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How MEDLIFE bridged the gap

When Roy arrived at our Mobile Clinic, our team of local nurses took immediate action and rushed him to the local hospital. After running some tests, the local medical professionals discovered that he had a critical bacterial infection in his hip. The infection had spread to his blood and was approaching his bones. Roy needed urgent surgery. Left untreated, the infection could have threatened his life. 

With the support of MEDLIFE working hand-in-hand with local medical professionals, Roy received life-changing surgery within a week. The successful surgery transformed Roy’s daily life. He is now back at school and able to enjoy being a happy, healthy kid. 

It is not uncommon for our in-country staff to face life-and-death situations like Roy’s at our Mobile Clinics. By connecting students, local services, and impoverished families, our team works to empower communities like Roy’s to overcome the constraints of poverty that make high quality medical care inaccessible. In Roy’s case, MEDLIFE bridged the gap between local medical professionals and the families of Ongoto Bajo. 

Join a Service Learning Trip to support our worldwide Movement to create a world free from the constraints of poverty, with access to high quality medical care for all! 

We’d like to thank the students from Universidad de Puerto Rico-Aguadilla, University of North Dakota, and Georgia State University for their hard work and dedication at the M40 Clinic in Tena. 

A critical part of every Mobile Clinic is the Patient Follow-Up Program.

When patients are simply referred to local hospitals for treatments, many times they still fail to receive the actual treatment they need due to lack of resources, lack of confidence, or lack of a true understanding of their medical problems. And that's why MEDLIFE developed a year-round patient follow-up process. Our patients are supported in many ways, beyond traditional medical care. We provide financial resources for treatments, emotional support, nutritional assistance for malnourished families, and educational resources to help individuals better understand their conditions.  

By participating on a Service Learning Trip, our MEDLIFE volunteers are not only providing much-needed medical care at the Mobile Clinic but also ensuring that communities receive holistic support beyond their week of service. 

Keep reading to learn more about some of the follow-up patients in Lima! 

Supporting Lima Follow-Up Patients

Eder

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MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics bridge the gap between communities with limited to no health resources and quality medical care - and that’s how we connect with patients like Señor Eder.

When we met Señor Eder, he was suffering from stomach pains. Having started eating less because it hurt too much, he was in critical need of quality healthcare but had limited access in his home community of Ventanilla. Staffed by local general practitioners, our clinic provided Señor Eder preferential treatment - a full physical exam and routine tests to figure out the cause. And when it was determined that additional tests were needed, he was enrolled in our patient follow-up program where he will continue to receive quality medical care and support from MEDLIFE until he is healthy again.

Liam

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When you meet Liam, you can’t help but smile. He is an energetic, happy 3-year-old boy from San Gabriel de Villa Maria Triunfo, a community on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. With all his energy, you almost can’t notice that he is unable to move his arm or hand.

Our MEDLIFE doctors have cited a possible circulation issue, but we don’t know for sure what’s wrong. Liam is enrolled in MEDLIFE’s Patient Follow-Up Program where doctors are administering tests to find the cause and hopefully a cure. But no matter what, our team of dedicated doctors and nurses are committed to supporting Liam and his family in any way possible to offer him a happy, healthy future.


To continue supporting our follow-up work, donate to the MEDLIFE Project Fund today! 

June 26, 2019 1:31 pm

Building Silvio a Safe Home

Written by Anjali Thakrar

To empower the poor in the fight for a world free from the constraints of poverty, our MEDLIFE Movement works side by side with communities to provide a safe home for everyone!

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At a Tena Mobile Clinic, Ecuador Director Martha Chicaiza asked a local school teacher which of her students was in the most need - and she said Silvio. The teacher explained Silvio and his sister were abandoned by their mother and their father had passed away, so they now live with their grandmother who does not have a job to provide the children with medical care and a safe home.

Martha and the Ecuador MED Programs team immediately went to the house and found him at home, sick with stomach pain due to parasites and laying on the wooden floor with a blanket draped over him. The house didn’t have any walls - only draped plastic garbage bags to protect them from the elements - and there were no beds or pillows. Silvio’s father had started building the house for his family but passed away before he could finish. 

After visiting Silvio, Martha determined that MEDLIFE would complete the house along with Sumak Kawsay Wasi, a government organization in Tena, and dedicated a Service Learning Trip group to facilitate the project. 

Sumak Kawsay Wasi hired professional architects and builders to construct the walls, while MEDLIFE volunteers helped paint the house and assemble beds for the family. They built shelves for every room as well as an adjustable flap door to cover the top of the staircase to prevent accidental falls down the stairs at night. Our team also supplied antiparasite medication to each of the family members to fight against any current or future infections. 

After almost 12 hours of work, the space was improved from a dangerous and uncomfortable structure to a safe home where Silvio and his family can live, learn, and grow. 

Silvio House


Continue supporting MEDLIFE as we fight for equal access to healthcare, education, and a safe home for all in the communities surrounding Tena, Ecuador by donating to the MEDLIFE Project Fund or signing up for a Service Learning Trip! 

April 5, 2019 11:06 am

Patient Story: Carol

Written by Caroline Appert

We’d like to introduce you to Carol, one of MEDLIFE’s follow-up patients in Lima, Peru. Her story is intense and complex, especially for being only 18 years old, but we would like to share it with you in hopes that it may inspire you to take action to support her situation.

At 15, Carol gave birth to her first child with a partner who was physically and emotionally abusive, secluded her from family and friends, and refused to get her medical attention. She remained out of touch with her family until about a year and a half later, when she showed up on her parent’s porch 5 months pregnant with another child. Her partner had not allowed her to go to any prenatal checkups. After much insisting, her mother Estela was able to take Carol to her first check-up at 7-8 months pregnant.

Carol

Carol and her partner then moved into her parents' home. Carol’s partner was constantly coughing but refused to seek medical treatment. Carol then began to suffer from headaches and a decline in her general health. With her condition worsening, her partner ran away with their oldest child, who was 3 years old at the time. The family had no way to track them down. They have filed a police report but there have been no updates.

Around this same time, Carol and her newborn were diagnosed with syphilis. Estela is worried that the 3-year-old might have it too, but doubt that Carol’s partner would seek medical attention for the child in any case.

Carol has since been diagnosed with tuberculosis and is now bedridden. Her primary caretaker is her mother. Estela and her husband Guzman, Carol's step-father, do everything they can to support Carol: buy her the supplies she needs, and make all the necessary doctor appointments, but the reality of their situation is grave and they need support.

MEDLIFE’s History with Carol

Carol came to a MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic in 2017 with gynecological concerns. After the clinic, we were able to deliver the medicine she needed based on her diagnosis, but two months later we went to check on Carol as a part of our patient follow-up protocol, and she had moved. None of the neighbors knew where she had gone, nor how to get in contact with her.

In December 2018, Carol’s mother came to another MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic. She asked for a doctor to visit her sick daughter in their home. Without knowing who the patient was, MEDLIFE staff, a doctor, and a few volunteers headed to the family’s home to visit the patient, and from this chance encounter, we became reconnected with Carol.

MEDLIFE immediately enrolled Carol into our patient follow-up program once again and has since learned the details of her story and medical condition. At this point, the tuberculosis has spread to her brain and caused permanent damage. Carol is currently bedridden, has almost no motor skills, and is barely verbal, but she is conscious and aware - improving ever so slightly.

When we first came to Carol’s home in late December 2018, she was nonverbal. When we visited again in early March 2019, she was able to hold her own feeding tube and nod her head. She can stick her tongue a little bit out of her mouth and sits up for short periods of time if properly supported. Estela tells us that a few weeks ago Carol was able to say “Mama” for the first time since becoming so ill. This gives Estela and their family hope, as it contrasts from the prognosis they were given in July when the doctor who evaluated Carol was told she had a week to live.

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Guzman works and has access to insurance, but since Carol became ill after she turned 18 she is ineligible to use that insurance. Carol is on Peru’s national safety-net health insurance network, Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS), and is getting treatment from Maria Auxiladora Hospital where they often have to wait up to two hours past their appointment time to be seen. This insurance also does not cover the cost of the other supplies needed for the treatment.

Though the family has received support from a local TV show, a local church, and Partners in Health (Socios en Salud), they still lack basic necessities to properly care for Carol in their home.


For now, we hope to support Carol by improving her and her family’s quality of life in any small scale way we can. You can contribute by donating to the MEDLIFE General Fund or signing up for a Service Learning Trip. Any donations fundraised for Carol will go toward purchasing items that will support her treatment and care.

Meet some of the amazing follow-up patients that visited one of our January Mobile Clinics in the communities surrounding Lima, Peru.

When 191 MEDLIFErs from the University of Puerto Rico Arecibo, the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, the University of Puerto Rico Interarecibo, the University of Chicago, Rush College, Barry University, Dawson College, the University of California Berkeley, Rowan University, Cornell University, John Hopkins University, the College of St. Scholastica, the University of Nevada, the College of Dupage, the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, and the College Bois-de-Boulogne came together in January for a Service Learning Trip in Lima, Peru they never could have imagined that their clinic alone would provide quality medical care to 2,111 people.

These are a few of the amazing people we met. Thanks to your dedication to the Movement and specifically your participation in Service Learning Trips, they are getting quality healthcare and treatments. As we share their stories, we hope to inspire others to take action and join us as we continue working hand in hand with communities to create a world free from the constraints of poverty. We invite you to tell your friends and family about your experiences in Lima and encourage them to join a Service Learning Trip so they can have an impact too.

Let’s meet some of our Lima Mobile Clinic follow-up patients!


Meet Marco:

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Marco is a 12-year-old boy who is deaf. When he was three years old he fell from the second floor of his grandparent's house and suffered major cerebral trauma and seizures. He was in the hospital for over a month and when he was discharged he had lost the ability to hear, speak, and walk. He completed some physical therapy, regaining the ability to walk and talk. However, he never recuperated his hearing. 

He had to repeat two years of school because of behavioral problems and a lack of specialized assistance. However, he has now learned to read and he loves to draw. There are some anger and behavioral issues at home that stem from a lack of comprehension within the household. He can read lips and he is vocal, but nobody in the house knows sign language.

MEDLIFE is going to do an auditory exam and hopefully help his family buy hearing aids. The doctor also recommended that the parents speak with a psychologist to learn how to better emotionally support Marco at home.

Meet Maya: 

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Maya is Marco’s 8-year-old sister. She has been experiencing headaches and light sensitivity. She lives with her family very high up in the hills of Villa Maria, and when she comes home from school she experiences headaches and lightheadedness.

The doctor noticed that some of her eyelashes have fallen out and that she has white patches on her face and neck. She is going to get some blood panels to see if she could have an autoimmune disease.

Check out more stories about Lima Winter Clinic Follow-Up Patients!


A huge thank you to all of our Winter Mobile Clinic participants for their hard work and dedication to the MEDLIFE Movement!

You can impact the lives of people just like Marco and Maya when you sign up for a Service Learning Trip. For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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