May 9, 2018 9:04 am

Meet the patient: Juan Padilla

Written by Melanie Neyra

In 2016, Juan Padilla's life took an unexpected turn. He was aggressively assaulted, leaving him completely blind.

 

The Story of Juan

Juan lives with his wife and daughter in his deceased parents' house in Pamplona Baja, San Juan de Miraflores, one of the most dangerous districts of Lima, Peru. Two years ago, he was a taxi driver and the only economic support of his family, until he got assaulted on his way home from work.

As he was walking home, five men got off a moto-taxi, took all of his belongings, and then began kicking him until he dropped onto the street. But this wasn't enough for them and before leaving, they threw a chemical in his eyes. This is a technique that robbers use to keep their victim from recognizing them in the police station.  

 

Meet the patient: Juan PadillaJuan Padilla, in his parent's house, where he lives with his 4 siblings and his family

 

He was left in the street, and his left eye began swelling and turning purple. When Juan's wife saw him, she took him to a local hospital, Maria Auxiliadora, but they couldn't help him without an appointment. After three long months, he was finally able to see a doctor. Unfortunately, after waiting so long, it was too late to start treatment for his left eye and he had permanently lost his vision. But the doctor told him with surgery, he could save the sight in his right eye.

After the surgery, Juan was showing signs of recovery and began to do some simple work. He helped his friend trim threads on the t-shirts he was making to support the Peruvian soccer team, so he could support his family and cover some of his medical costs. But this wasn't enough.  

How MEDLIFE Got Involved

One day, Zoila Dorado, a friend of Juan’s that knew MEDLIFE through its mobile clinics, told him how the organization helps provide quality health care for people who can’t otherwise access it. Juan didn't hesitate to reach out and contacted one of MEDLIFE's nurses, Ruth.

When Ruth heard his story, she knew she had to do something, so she enrolled Juan in MEDLIFE's follow-up patient program. First, MEDLIFE supported him by paying for his medicine and special glasses, but since he had stopped working, this wasn't a sustainable solution for his family or for MEDLIFE.

Luckily, thanks to volunteers that participated in a Service Learning Trip, we were able to give Juan a carrito sanguchero (sandwich cart), where his wife could begin to work selling things like burgers and orange juice. They couldn’t stop smiling when they were presented with the cart, knowing that they would be able to make an income again.

 

Juan's family inaugurating their new carrito sangucheroJuan's family inaugurating their new carrito sanguchero

 

But the story doesn’t end there. A few months passed, when Juan was assaulted once again. His attackers hit him so hard with a baseball bat this time that his glasses broke. Even in this incredible pain, Juan stood up and went home. On his way into his kitchen, it all turned black. Juan was completely blind.

At first he was depressed, but thanks to his family, MEDLIFE volunteers, staff, and donors, he has been given hope.

 

IMG 4830MEDLIFE staff giving him a walking stick and a special watch

 

Juan’s Hopes for the Future

Now, Juan is enrolled in a program in CERCIL (Lima’s rehabilitation center for the blind), where they teach him how to live and develop professionally. It also connects him to fellow blind people, which makes him feel he isn’t alone and gives him the opportunity to swap stories and advice.

Juan told us there was a man from Ica, “and he came to CERCIL asking for help. He likes sports, especially running, and now is about to participate in the Pan American games. This made me ask myself - if this man can do it, why can't I?”

 

By attending a Service Learning Trip, you help us support MEDLIFE follow-up patients like Juan Padilla, and give them hope for a better future.

 

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. For all of these reasons, MEDLIFE has developed a year-round patient follow-up process. We support our patients in many ways. We provide financial resources for treatments, emotional support, nutritional assistance for malnourished families, and educational resources to help individuals better understand their conditions.  

Meet some of our follow-up patients in Tanzania!

CAROLINE MOSHA

CAROLINE

Let me introduce you to Caroline Mosha! Caroline is a six year-old girl, living in the community of Kilema-Moshi. She became a MEDLIFE follow-up patient in May of 2017.

Caroline is a charming young girl who was diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis at a mobile clinic and subsequently enrolled into our patient follow-up program.

We made our first visit to Caroline’s home on August 11th, 2017 with Dr. Geofrey, a mobile clinic physician. This was the first time we were able to discuss Caroline’s treatment plan with her and her siblings. 

During the visit, Dr. Geofrey recommended that Caroline undergo a tonsillectomy to cure her tonsillitis. After everyone agreed to her treatment plan, we then made an appointment at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre’s ENT Department.  Caroline went in for a medical consultation on August 18th, 2017 and the doctor recommended the surgery be performed as quickly as possible, as Caroline’s tonsils were quite enlarged and caused her discomfort, especially at night.

The doctor scheduled Caroline to be admitted into the hospital on August 21st, 2017. However, when we arrived to the hospital we were told that there were no available beds because the hospital’s capacity had been reached. The hospital staff could only recommend that we return the following day and try again. On August 22nd, 2017 a bed finally became available and Caroline was admitted to KCMC. Caroline was operated on a day later and had a successful surgery with no complications. Her surgery went so well that the doctors discharged her the following day! We are very thankful that Caroline had a successful surgery and no longer suffers from tonsillitis.

THERESA MZAVA

theresa

This young girl is named Theresa Mzava. She is eleven years old and lives with her parents and four siblings. One day, she was helping her parents prepare food for the family when a part of her headscarf caught fire. She tried to remove the cloth herself but was unable to.

Fortunately, her father heard her screams and came running to help her. Theresa’s father removed the burning piece of cloth but she had already been burned on her head, back, and buttocks.

Theresa’s family took her to the hospital where she was given medication and treated for her injuries. However, as the days went on, Theresa’s family could not afford to pay the medical bills associated with her treatment, and she was discharged from the hospital.

Shortly after being discharged, we met Theresa at a 2016 mobile clinic in her community, Kilima mswaki. After we spoke to Theresa’s mother, we agreed to assist her with the cost of Theresa's medications until she made a full recovery.

However, shortly after Theresa became a MEDLIFE follow-up patient her family experienced another tragedy: her family’s house collapsed due to heavy winds and rains. While this could have put Theresa at a higher risk of infection while she recuperated, a neighbor kindly offered to take Theresa in while her family rebuilt their house. In the summer of 2017, Theresa made a full recovery.

WILSTANELY MAKERE

WILSTANELY

Meet Wilstanely Makere! He is 53 years old, and lives with his wife in the village of Kitifu. He is also the father of two children. Wilstanely suffered from a hernia for over three years, but was unable to go to the hospital for medical treatment.

In January of 2016, MEDLIFE conducted a mobile medical clinic in his community, where he was immediately enrolled in our patient follow-up program.

We worked with him to help him get the hernia operation he needed and now he has fully recovered!

 

April 2, 2018 9:34 am

MEET THE PATIENT: EMMANUAL (MOSHI, TANZANIA)

Written by Neema

image10Emmanual, age 60, was at a loss for words as he learned he was being entered into the MEDLFE Follow-up program.

Meet Emmanual, MEDLIFE Tanzania's newest Follow-up patient. We met Emmanual for this first time this past weekend after a community leader had contacted MEDLIFE Tanzania Director Neema Lyimo asking for help. What Emmanual initially thought was just a painful toothache soon became a mass on his right cheek. In rural environments, many patients rely on community assistance for treatment when healthcare systems are not accessible either due to distance, cost or lack of education on how to utilize them. Our Tanzania staff will now begin to work with Emmanual and his family to get further evaluations and determine what course of action is needed.

image4The seasonal rains had limited road access to Emmanual's community, leaving the team to set out on foot.

While the majority of MEDLIFE patients are found through a mobile clinic, occasionally local leaders will approach us and share the case of a friend or community member who needs help. Our partner communities and patients don't just require medical care when MEDLIFE is able to bring a mobile clinic, caring for patients requires our 24/7, year-round attention. This is why the MEDLIFE values of listening and fostering strong relationships with communities is so crucial. Realistically, MEDLIFE mobile clinics cannot reach everyone in need of care. But by working within existing local networks we an extensive team able to take action. 

January 16, 2018 3:05 pm

MEET THE PATIENT: GERALDINE FLORES

Written by Rosali Vela

It was Geraldine's aunt who first reached out to MEDLIFE. Her niece was still struggling with a rectal prolapse she had endured from the young age of three months old. Upon discovering Geraldine was now hospitalized from the worsening condition, she began to seek help

Geraldine was living with her mother in Piura at the time, approximately 717 miles away from Peru's capital of Lima. Meanwhile her aunt was desperately searching for a way to bring her sister and niece to Lima, where doctors specializing in gastroenterology would be able to provide quality treatment. The aunt found Carlos Benavides, MEDLIFE's director of MED Programs in Lima, and urgently arrived to his doorstep. She explained what brought her to his home and Carlos reassured her that he would do everything he could to help improve Geraldine's circumstances.

Carlos and the MED Programs team got Geraldine a tomography to verify she needed treatment in Lima and assisted with her transfer from Piura. At two years old, Geraldine is currently too young to undergo the surgery and instead, has been completing an alternative treatment for the past three months, which could potentially take up to three years. MEDLIFE is currently assisting Geraldine and her family with the medicine; thankfully she is showing great signs of improvement.

Thanks to our MED Programs team and the continued support from Chapters and donors across the world, MEDLIFE is able to assist those that would otherwise lack access to vital services in health care, education and development.

IMG 6124

IMG 6126Geraldine with her mother.

As part of our post-clinic activities, our staff last week went to visit four patients in Lima who we met during our mobile clinics. Luckily, these patients are already being treated in the Peruvian health system SIS. Although they did not require economic support from MEDLIFE, they did however, require tools to be able to access their treatment and therefore access a better quality of life.

Another one of our visits was to a PRONOEI (public kindergarten) located in Villa Maria del Triunfo. Said kindergarten informed us that they needed a new roof since the one they currently have was very dangerous for the children.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>
Page 1 of 20