Patient Story: Julio cesar Mendez

Our various medical campaigns not only help our current patients, they also help us find new follow up patients. Eleven year old Julio Cesar Mendez Tica, a child who has overcome great difficulties,is a perfect example.

When Julio Cesar was eight years old, he loved to play football near his home on the rocky hillsides of Nuevo Milenio, Pamplona. Similar to many kids his age, he liked to play with friends and was known for his constant smile and friendly nature. However, one evening his life took a tragic turn. While playing with some friends, a rock broke off of the hillside and headed toward the field, hitting Julio Cesar on the right side of his head.

The rock had smashed one of the bones of his skull, damaging vital brain tissue. In the time that it took to transport Julio Cesar to the María Auxiliadora Hospital, blood clots in his brain had developed. This forced doctors to remove the damaged bone, placing it under the skin of his stomach to preserve it. During surgery, it was discovered that the damage was too severe to rectify, leaving the entire left side of Julio Cesar’s body paralysed.

Directly after his surgery, various government representatives, NGOs and the media publicly pledged to help Julio Cesar. However, it has been three years since the accident and the promised help never came. Therefore, when MEDLIFE met him during the first Mobile Clinic in Nuevo Milenio, Julio Cesar’s mother, Alejandra, was very suspicious. She felt that all previous organizations who had promised to help her child had instead taken advantage of the situation, advertising the case for their own gains. Weeks of meetings and discussions with our nurses enabled the Mendez Tica family to trust the help of others once again. 


Julio Cesar has since undergone surgery, in which the bone of his skull was successfully realigned in place however, that was just the beginning of his recovery process. Several rehabilitation treatments were necessary, and the accident had changed Julio Cesar into a very reserved and shy child. As of September of 2013, MEDLIFE has taken care of all treatment costs for Julio Cesar, including speech, learning, occupational and physical therapy. 

These many months of hard work are paying off. Now Julio Cesar is starting to smile again, and has taken a liking to photography. He has started to recall events that he had forgotten due to the accident. Additionally, after several recent assessments the Cesar Carbonell Public School has opened its doors to him, and now Julio Cesar is entering the 4th grade. 

It is important to note that through a partnership with Area Children with Special Abilities, Cesar Carbonell Public School, located in Lower Pamplona, will now help other children like Julio Cesar to enroll and continue their education. 

MEDLIFE will continue to support Julio Cesar and his family. We are now aiming to supply him with a computer to do his homework, as well as help his family remodel their home. These two important goals will help the Mendez Tica family greatly improve their quality of life. 



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.