Sunday, January 11, 2015

Team Work

January 11, 2015
View from Iglesia Guadalupe, looking westward.

Don Sergio's history is unique in many ways. Just the story of his humanitarianism stirs many to come write about him or make videos (see El Andalon and New York Times Article).  However, his personal history is quite remarkable as well.

Don Sergio has told me that his mother died when he was 6 years-old the father, an actor at the time, split him and his sisters up to live with their tias (aunts). He ended up at a boarding school and over the years became well educated and tutored other students to pay for his room and board as his father did not pay the bill nor did he return for him. He considers himself growing up as an orphan and luckily he was smart enough to go to University and obtain a degree in agronomy, veterinary and teaching and subsequently did his social service here in Chiapas, where he found his home.

His father, now older than 96, lives in Mexico City (Districto Federal: aka DF) and over the years they have reunited. He is frail and having health issues and Don Sergio would like to see him before too much time gets away.

Never asking for anything, he had mentioned this to Iker who shared it with me. Don Sergio agreed that this is a good time to go visit and that we (me, Ricci, Iker, Alfonso, Edith) can take care of the patients. He left on Friday and is returning later today. Ricci and I did house calls on Friday and Alfonso joined us during the day on Saturday. During the Friday and Saturday evening clinics Iker, Edith and Alfonso joined us and we took care of the all the patients that came.

Currently, one of two of our most critical patients. This patient is
very poor in that his living conditions are not optimum for someone
with a burn as bad as his. Fortunately, he is not diabetic, young, and
otherwise healthy (I don't think he will be touching alcohol and time soon).
Ricci preps the bandage while Alfonso and Iker debride this deep burn wound.
One badly burned patient, the usual 'this is the worse case' of the this trip, needed wound care on Sunday, our usual day off, and thankfully Iker and Alfonso joined us and did the most difficult work (Ricci and I were glad to take a break with this case). This 26 year-old with an 11-year drinking problem consumed to much on Christmas Day and fell into a smoldering fire and passing out for 4 or 5 hours. His right leg was burned horribly: partly 3rd (down to the fat) and deep second degree burns to the whole circumference of his right leg from ankle to upper thigh.
Notice newspaper used as a drape to catch wound debris, we re-use spray
bottles and leave the debriding instruments, supplies and silvadene with
the patient for daily care.

Wrapping the wound. We try to do all the wound care efficiently as
this can be quite traumatic for the patient. We have no pain medication
to give, nor the best of instruments or supplies; just as what
Don Sergio has done for more than 40 years  
Don Sergio and I had been caring for this young man daily since the day after my arrival which was 8 days after the accident. It is not unusual for patients to seek help more than a week after the injury. This patient did not want to go to the hospital for fear of cost and he has no money. Properly caring for this wound to maximize healing requires daily care so our Sunday attendance was necessary. Ricci and I assisted Alfonso and Iker as they worked on this young fellow, doing what we can to make the job easier for everyone.

It makes me very happy that Don Sergio trust us and los jovenes to man his post while he was away. He is able to see his father without worry and we were all glad to be there for him as he has always been there for so many.

 Posted by Patricia Ferrer.

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