Patient Update: Jose Francisco Receives Second Surgery

Jose Francisco 2nd surgery smallIn November of 2012, we wrote an in-depth profile on one of our patients in Ecuador, Jose Francisco, who has been living with a condition called cryptorchidism (undescended testicles). Without surgery, this condition puts him at risk for infertility and, most importantly, raises his chances for developing testicular cancer.

Jose received the first of two necessary surgeries in early November at the Hospital Provincial General Docente in Riobamba, Ecuador. As Jose’s medical condition affected both testicles, his treatment called for two surgeries to be performed separately. Although the surgeon originally recommended a resting period of six months in between each operation, Jose recovered extremely quickly from the first, making it possible to operate again just three months later.

On Wednesday, January 30, 2013, Jose returned to the same hospital to receive the second of his two surgeries. Accompanied by MEDLIFE Field Nurse Maria Chavez, he entered the hospital early in the morning to take the required preliminary exams. Although Jose had recently been sick with flu symptoms, doctors verified that he was well and able to receive the operation, which was scheduled for 6 pm that night.

On Thursday morning, MEDLIFE Ecuador staff members went to visit Jose in his room. “It was amazing to see him, happy and content, as if nothing had happened,” said MEDLIFE Director of Ecuador Martha Chicaiza. “It’s always incredible to see a patient attended to and treated in time, especially when it’s a child.”

Doctors and MEDLIFE staff will continue to monitor Jose’s development post-surgery. If the operations were successful, his testicles will continue to develop normally as he grows. Doctors explained that because of Jose’s age, 11 years, he faces greater risks of complications.

“If we had found him when he was younger, we could have helped him better,” says Martha. “Many times this happens in Ecuador – patients don’t get the help they need in time because of the lack of education, or because they are scared of certain treatments or surgeries.”

As Jose recuperates at home, MEDLIFE will continue to monitor and support his full recovery.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.