Our third day in El Salvador and second clinic day started off with a one hour drive to San Pablo Tacachico. The mornings have become routine already with breakfast, pack up our supplies, load up the buses and drive. Our arrival was met with a smaller crowd than we had anticipated until an hour later when the next group of 200 arrived. The local authorities had organized for these groups of 200 to arrive each hour so no one had to stand out in the scorching sun for too long. It is definitely an idea to be shared with other communities in the future.
Our medical team seemed to see a number of elderly patients today. Nurse Debbie Dawson treated an 87 year-old woman who had suffered from severe cataracts and loss of vision for many years. She was accompanied by her 8 year-old great granddaughter, who has been acting as her eyes since the girl was two years old. Family caring for each other is something we see all the time in these communities.
Dr. Steve Russell treated a 65 year-old woman who had broken her wrist a week earlier. With no access to medical care or funds to travel to the nearest hospital, the woman had just been suffering with the pain for all that time. Dr. Steve splinted her wrist, prescribed some pain-relievers and with the help of our local partner organization in country, she will be seen at a local hospital for follow-up treatment.
Over in the dental area, Dr. Rick Caldwell and Dr. Dominic Delle Donne worked in tandem to move through patients efficiently and effectively. After Dr. Dom performed the route canals, Dr. Rick would put on a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from further deterioration. A shining example of how great our team works together to help as many people as we can in the limited time we have with them.
The heat definitely affected everyone today and we were thankful for the ample supply of bottled water we brought to the site. The waves of 200 people per hour continued arriving until 4:00pm in what we have affectionately come to call “organized chaos”. We plan to carry the momentum on to our third clinic day tomorrow in the town of Tepecoyo.
stories & pictures submitted by Kristen DeMarco, edited by Speroway.