Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Experience of Sharing and Caring

February 9, 2014

Carolina, Dr. Mateo and Don Sergio share photos of their medical cases. The night before Don Sergio brought out a couple of volumes of photo albums: Mateo uses his smart phone. Interestingly, the wounds are just as severe in the US, but we have specialized wound care centers.

Over the past years various medical professionals have shown a desire to work with Don Sergio after hearing my experience.  We all agree on one thing: Don Sergio needs help.  Many ask, ‘ Why doesn’t he train someone locally to help’.  The answer: Don Sergio does not charge patients any fee, he feels the stress of paying interferes with healing.  Also, when a local does want to work with him, they don’t last long as they need an income to live.

Carolina debriding on a chronic diabetic ulcer.
During this visit, Ricci (here last week), Dr. Mateo and I were pleasantly surprised to meet Carolina. She is a nurse that works at a nursing home during the day and met Don Sergio when he came to care for one of her patients.  Over the last month she volunteers with him every Friday night and if she has time she comes more often. 

Dr. Mateo and Carolina working together.
At the age of 20 she shows a high level of competence, confidence, and curiosity.  She truly enjoys working with Don Sergio for the sake of learning and helping.  Most 20 year-olds would be ‘creeped out’ by the severe wounds, ulcers and burns…not Carolina..she's hungry to learn to wound care and seems to have an innate sensibility.

Juan "Juanito" Pablo and his father figure.
 Eight-year-old Juanito, Don Sergio’s quasi-adopted street son, meets us daily at the museo after school. His mother Chun, wheelchair bound since birth due to spina bifida, comes to the museo to say hello.  Juanito runs in, hugs Don Sergio, me, and Mateo by hanging on our necks, and then runs off. Don Sergio helps Chun and Juanito survive by giving them 50 pesos a day. I’m not sure if she receives government assistance, but it is clear they would not survive with out Don Sergio’s help.

My two weeks are up and it will take 12 hours to get back to Tucson: a taxi, a shuttle, two planes, another shuttle, then a 15 minute drive home.  Dr. Mateo stays on for another 4 days and will have a similar schlep returning.
Carolina, Pati y Mateo – nuevos amigos.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank all my friends from around the world that care enough to want to share the experience of their own skills, time, money and working with Don Sergio and the people of Chiapas, Mexico. 

Don Sergio has a nice following of French visitors. This was the first visit for these ladies and his work, his Maya textile collection and easy demeanor enchanted them.  A local French woman advocates her countrymen to send medicines and supplies.
  Hasta pronto Carolina y Don Sergio!!!

Posted by Patricia Ferrer. 

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