Ventura is 72 years old and lives with his spouse, age 79. They never had children and don’t have family to care for them. His wife, Alma, collects aluminum cans to sell to recycling centers to earn 60 cents per pound. Ventura rises at 4 every morning to travel 5km to feed cattle at a nearby farm. He earns Q30 a day for his work, a paultry $4 a day.
The couple came to our clinic for a medical consultation in February because of a mass growing on the side of Ventura’s neck. He was only taking pain medication but now the pain was stronger. Dr. Garcia attended the patient and diagnosed the possibility of cancer.
Earning only $4 a day leaves the couple desperate for help. “What we have is only enough to buy food” said Ventura. “We have no family to help us.”
Further testing is necessary to determine the exact diagnosis and treatment plan. Since Ventura and Alma never had the opportunity to go to school, neither can read nor write. Maneuvering through the maze of paperwork at a strange hospital is a task that is impossible for the elderly couple.
Our work goes beyond the exam room. Patients receive assistance making appointments with specialists in Guatemala City, cost of diagnostic tests, medicine, and transportation. Many times patients are ill and cannot ride a public transportation bus. We help patients and their families by transporting them to the appointments and follow up with test results.
Investing in our work in rural Guatemala means saving lives and changing lives. People suffer because they do not have the resources to see a doctor. Our Guatemala health time sees upwards of 775 patients a month, most with diseases and ailments that have gone undiagnosed and untreated. Your support enables us to provide quality medical care for some of the poorest people on earth.