Sunday, April 27, 2014

Prepping for Growth

April 27, 2014
This time of year the ground is a bit drier and the agriculture workers are prepping the land for the fall crops. It involves burning the dried debris and according to Don Sergio, it helps to release potassium in the soil for planting, then the rains will come and things will grow. Food will be harvested and life goes on. 

The sky is a bit hazy, but brings brilliant orange colors as the sun sets
Over the last week a colleague, Erick, who has worked at the Shriners Burn Hospital in Galveston for 3 years, has contacted me about working with Don Sergio. He's been traveling through Mexico and has developed friendships with Mexican physicians that have passed through Shriners for additional training. Erick, originally from Connecticut, like many people has found Mexico wonderful and his connections make it that much richer. Over the last year he has returned 3 times and once to Chiapas, however he was not aware of Don Sergio at that time.

Saturday was my first full day back joining Don Sergio and its like I never missed a beat, however there are two critical cases we make house calls to and one is in Teopisca (25 miles out of town). This gentleman, age 43, was laying rebar for masonry work and it touched a live wire.  The electricity went through his forehead and out both feet. The ulcer on his forehead is healing well but the exit points are horrible. Erick, has seen injuries this severe or worse many times before. When I asked his thoughts he said, “take him to the OR” (operating room). Well, that’s out of the question. Don Sergio has been working with this guy for several weeks and slowly removing the dead tissue to help the healing process. Always, ‘poco a poco’. This trip takes most of the morning.

Our second case is one of the saddest. I know I’ve said this before in other postings but....  This 26 y/o man from Chenoló became intoxicated and, in his drunken stupor, decided to rob a home. He was caught in the process and was taken by the owners who pored gasoline on his legs and set him on fire. The end result is loss of his left leg (badly burned and amputated above the knee) and the other severely burned behind the knee that the contracture will not allow him to straighten his leg. He is now wheelchair bound.  Its hard to believe the brutality, but it happens world-wide.

On the brighter side the local fair had a dance show that was in full swing during 'comida'.

The fashion in the old days.
It is a pleasure having Erick here who has experienced seeing and taking part in treating these intense injuries.  However, knowing what would have been done if there were resources and what we have to work with…well, these are different worlds.

Sidewalk art, now faded.

Displaying murals.

Sergio continues to provide care to any and all in need. I find his storage room empty of the staples he needs: gauze, gauze wraps, petrolatum impregnated gauze, tape, and gloves. My large suitcase with supplies was held up in Guadalajara and just now arrived. Just in time before running out...for the moment. One objective this trip is to estimate how much he needs on a monthly basis, find a local distributor and make arrangements to keep Don Sergio in supplies. 

1 comment:

Scott Bolhack, MD said...

Glad to see that you have made the journey safely and the supplies have arrived, sounds like just in time.