Today was our last day of medical visits and we were in the community of portrellios a bajo which is about halfway up the mountain we’ve been on. We loaded up the cattle truck and made our way up the mountain again. Our students did their presentations in the school there. There were 3 grades that ranged from first graders to adolescents. Our students did a great job tailoring their presentations to meet the educational level of their audience.
We then had lunch in the church and made house visits after. This was a day spent in strenuous hiking on the mountain to find remote patients but it was worth it. There were critical patients that needed care, such as: Hypertensive crisis, elevated blood sugars (one was 541), wounds, and pain were some of the afflictions diagnosed and referred.
One group came back to the mobile clinic talking about an older woman they found with multiple pressure ulcers. They gave all the gauze they had but they did not have the supplies to provide adequate wound care due to the amount and severity of the wounds.
Towards the end of the day we were able to stock up on wound care supplies and send a group back to the woman’s house. She was in her upper 80s and her caretaker was her daughter who was in her 70s. They lived in a very remote part of the mountain. She had dementia and could not speak, she was also deaf. We made it to her home and set up wound care supplies. We saw the pictures and heard the description from the previous group but that did not prepare us for what we were about to see. The realities of death and dying when there is no hospice is something that you will never forget. The pressure ulcers were so severe that in some you could see bone, one tunneled, others were unstageable. She lay bare skin, wounds open to air with a mosquito net over the lower half of her body. As soon as you moved the net flies covered her wounds. We were able to cleanse her wounds, educate her daughter about caring for the wounds, and provided wound care supplies for her daughter.
The daughter was surprised and so thankful. She said to us as we were about to leave, “I never expected this.” This woman may not have much time left on this earth, but in that moment she was loved on and cared for by some incredible future nurses and was given the care, dignity, and honor she deserves as an image bearer of Almighty God.