MEDLIFE Ecuador Intern Pedro Gonzalez writes about his relationship with a special patient in Riobamba:
I have experienced a lot of meaningful events during my stay here in Ecuador. I have helped follow-up with a lot of patients and worked on multiple community development projects. None of them has had a bigger impact on me than the day I met Leslie Salambay.
Leslie is a one-year-old girl who lives in the community of Calancha in Ecuador. She had the misfortune of being born with her right ear completely sealed and is currently at risk of losing her sense of hearing if it goes untreated. I met this adorable girl one day at the MEDLIFE Ecuador office in Riobamba. I heard her laughing from the other room and had to came out to meet her. She is a ball full of joy — as soon as she saw me, she wanted to play with me and I ended up taking many pictures with her.
I asked Martha, our director in Ecuador, if I could be present during her whole treatment processs and she gave me the OK. Since then, I have been with Leslie during all of her appointments. It has not been an easy ride. Some of the tests needed for Leslie’s treatment have been postponed because the staff in the hospital have not been careful enough to schedule a correct time for her; mistakes like this happen at public hospitals all the time. It’s frustrating when you want to help someone but it’s made difficult by poor administration of practices. As always, I am a positive person and try to get the best from each experience. I have used this time to bond more with Leslie and her family, and enjoy her laugh.
Leslie is always accompanied by her mother on these visits. One thing that I value about Leslie’s mother is how caring she is for her child. She is always there and really attentive towards her daughter. It reminds me a little bit of my mother. I don’t want the smile of this little girl to ever disappear. I know that I will keep working hard to make sure Leslie receives all of her treatments so she can live a normal and happy life.