Our team consisted of 18 awesome members, the majority from California. Two amazing pediatricians Dr Deb and Dr Adrianne from Kaiser Santa Rosa, Dr Murray our OB/GYN extraordinaire, and a team of skillful med students, RNs and dedicated and enthusiastic non medical members from all backgrounds. And of course thank you also to Dr Amanda for your help and support. Because of the size of our team we were able to take 2 teams lead by Dr Amanda up into the remote villages in the mountains above Campeche. They brought Worm pills, vitamins, hydration and emergency medical supplies and touched the lives and hearts of many people who otherwise have no access to health care of any sort. These “mobile teams” will hopefully become a regular part of our missions. We had an excellent variety of meds to work with in the pharmacy thanks to the joint efforts of team members, Dr Amanda and a large order THMT was able to get through our affiliates MAP and Americares. Both of these agencies provide medicine to teams throughout the world either for free or for pennies on the dollar. They are an amazing resource and do incredible work.
Our main goal is to provide the best and most thorough primary care possible but also to take this opportunity to teach each patient as much as we can about their health issues, their prenatal care, children’s care and prevention. We had several classes throughout the week including Women’s health, prenatal , breast feeding and newborn care, how and why to take a temperature, and Matt and Jack rocked the English classes (after working a full hectic day in the pharmacy)! Our dear returning veteran Lisa, engaged over a hundred village women young and old with her sanitary pad sewing project and classes. Way to go girl!!! I think she would be voted most popular in the village!!! One of the unique opportunities our teams have in Campeche is the ability to live among the villagers, we walk down their streets, visit their homes, play with their children, hold their babies!!!! (Some of us have problems giving them back right Deb??) They are not just our patients they become our friends and they always welcome us with warm smiles and open arms and we learn so much from their wealth of courage, faith and love in the midst of what we consider severe debilitating poverty. Several of us attended a funeral for Madam Gilande who had worked in our pharmacy and passed recently at a young age. It was an unforgettable, beautiful, yet heart wrenching event. The Haitians spend their last dimes to ensure the proper burial and services of their loved ones. The music and service were beautiful, the wailing and crying was heart breaking. The entire community including all the children were there to show love and support to the family, standing room only inside and outside the church.May she rest in peace...........
Each team has several unforgettable events and situations, whether it’s a trauma patient whose life we were able to save, the touching of a young girls heart with the knowledge to respect her body, or the birth of a baby, multiple challenges walk in the door every morning. On day 1 Dr Deb saw a baby who was in resp failure, high fever and listless, unable to send this baby to the ICN, we watched her instincts kick in, she used what she had on hand and her expertise and we were able to find many of the tools she required to save this baby’s life. It is extremely difficult to have to send the baby home not knowing if she would make it through the night. The next afternoon she returned and daily after that and by the end of the week she was a bouncing giggling baby girl!!! Her Mama had tried to take her to the hospital, they gave her minimal meds and sent her away because she couldn’t pay. Our clinic was able to provide better care to this baby than she could receive outside. Mama engaged the church congregation on Sunday with a touching testimony of how she was turned away from the hospital and this Dr reached out with her heart and soul and took it upon herself to save her baby’s life.
Thank you to our hosts at the Bethel Foundation, To Pastor Nathan and his staff for keeping us secure and safe and overseeing it all from the sidelines. Thank you to Madam Claude and her talented and beautiful kitchen staff for keeping our tummies happy and full . Thank you to our translators for allowing us to do our work so efficiently. Thank you to Madam Venart for your work in the lab, Claude for running the clinic, and of course Sir TUTU, we cannot thank him enough for anticipating our every need.
We know the sacrifice each and every one of you makes to leave your homes, families, jobs etc and spend your own time and money to help the people of Campeche and we at THMT thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are all welcome back any time!
Best and God Bless
Gail Braun R.N