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MEET THE PATIENT: Jofre
By Ximena Rodriguez
On several occasions, MEDLIFE has had the opportunity to host Mobile Clinics in the community of Pachamama Chico, located in the AlausÃ Canton, Tixan Parish, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador. In Pachamama Chico, MEDLIFE has attended to and helped with the treatment of multiple patients suffering from different heart problems.
During the recent summer Mobile Clinic season, MEDLIFE returned to Pachamama Chico once again, and this is where we met Jofre (9 years old). Jofre and his parents visited all the way from the village of Guarinag, two hours from the town of Pachamama Chico. They came with the aim of attending our Mobile Clinic, since they had heard about MEDLIFEâ€™s reputation of treating heart diseases in the community.
Jofre poses after his first eye appointment.
From a young age, Jofre had suffered from a peculiar condition; both eyes were always reddened, but one seemed to be more intensely affected than the other.
Due to the family’s limited financial resources, Jofre had never seen a doctor about his condition, and, with MEDLIFE holding a Mobile Clinic so close to their hometown, the family came with the hopes of finally being able to attend to Jofre’s health problems.
At the Mobile Clinic, Jofre was examined and diagnosed with cataracts. MarÃa Chavez, the Ecuador Patient Follow-Up Team Leader, later met with the parents to inform them about the Jofre’s condition and to offer them, on behalf of MEDLIFE, the support that would be required from that moment on. The family, however, had arrived with the hopes of treating Jofre on-site and were wary of entering into the Patient Follow-Up Program. In the past, Jofre’s mother had an operation on her gall bladder at the AlausÃ Hospital, where she had suffered from surgical complications. Consequently, they were worried that something similar might happen to Jofre.
Jofre and his father outside of the eye clinic in Quito, Ecuador.
After some reassurance from MEDLIFE staff, Jofre’s family finally agreed to enter our Patient Follow-Up program. We then accompanied them on a trip to the eye clinic in Quito where a specialist diagnosed Jofre with high astigmatism in both eyes. The doctor then requested to perform an internal examination of Jofre’s left eye, since it was possible that a tumor could be causing some of his medical issues.
Shortly after, results were received which ruled out a tumor as the source of the problem. Jofre was instead diagnosed with initial Keratoconus, a progressive thinning of the cornea. This condition, thankfully, can be treated with drops, which reduce inflamation, and corrective lenses, which will improve Jofre’s vision.