Today was an emotional one for me. One of my student docs got a patient that really hit me hard. He was a 13 year old boy who had lost his leg when he was eight years old. He got hit by a car and lost his left leg above his knee (this means almost no chance of prosthesis since it would need to be an artificial knee too). Anyhow, his right knee was now hurting. And he was having difficulties using his crutches due to the right knee (the good one) pain.
He was brave during the whole procedure. I performed it and my student doc assisted me. This was done since speed was a factor because the young boy could only bend his knee for a short while without pain and due to his age, as he was very anxious and crying. All in all, he did well with the procedure. We also referred them to the local physical therapy place in town that the foundation built. Hopefully they will go next week.
I gave his mother 100 Lempira, which is a good sum for them. She thanked me profusely. I had to borrow this from another doc as I had only a little local money. I told her to buy him something nice. As they were leaving one of the translators told me that the woman with him was not his mother but is grandmother. We caught up with them right before the door and I asked her where his parents were. She said the father was almost unknown as he left before his kid was born. And when he lost his leg his mother (this women’s daughter), took off illegally to the US and wants nothing to do with him. It was all I could do to hold back tears. I gave her the rest of the local money I had in my pocket (about 50 Lempiras) and wished her well. She gave me a big hug and thanked me for everything.
This is why I come to Honduras- making a difference in peoples’ lives; one person at a time.