Paving The Road To A Healthy Future For Edison Tagua


Like most 11 year olds, our patient Edison Tagua from Ecuador loves playing soccer and being active with his friends. But unlike his peers, he had long-suffered from a condition that prevents him from enjoying these activities to his full potential.

We first met Edison at a Mobile Clinic a year ago in the community of Achullay del Cantón Guamote near Riobamba, Ecuador when his father told us that Edison had difficulty running or engaging in other strenuous activities. After he was seen by a doctor at the clinic, we discovered that he had a heart murmur and was in need of further treatment.

Heart murmurs are the extra sounds that occur during a heartbeat. While most heart murmurs are not serious, some can be caused by various abnormalities or defects in the heart structure; these murmurs require further examination for possible treatment.

Living in a small house in rural Ecuador, Edison’s family comes from very low financial means. His father is day laborer and his mother works as a housekeeper. When MEDLIFE initially offered follow-up care for Edison, his family was very hesitant, as they had financial concerns and were also convinced that his condition could be fixed with a few home remedies. Finally, after speaking with MEDLIFE staff and medical professionals in Ecuador, and being informed that our organization would support them throughout the process, the family accepted our help and we enrolled Edison into our follow-up program.


His road to recovery began with a three-hour journey to the capital of Ecuador, Quito, where his surgery took place. On the day of his surgery, his entire family accompanied him to Quito and showered him with support as he was being taken to the operating room. Finally, after eight hours of heart surgery in Quito, Edison was in stable condition and is on a steady road to recovery.

Now, he will be able to enjoy the activities he loves: playing soccer with his friends, spending time with his family, and continuing to study in school in order to accomplish his goal of becoming an engineer when he grows up.



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.