Life-Giving: Give an Alternative Gift
this season that keeps on giving, as a single gift or a
monthly pledge.Your gift will be acknowledged to the
receiver with a beautiful card.
Here are three stories about patients who have
chronic illnesses, but unlike diabetic and hypertensive patients,
they need very special care:
Lupe is 66 years old. She lives with her daughter and
grandchild in a small house in Nueva Vida. She suffers from
type 2 diabetes and hypertension, but she also had an abdominal
Last January, she was attacked by a dog and fell down. She
popped open her hernia and her intestines came through…even though
her skin was intact. She waited eight days to come to the
clinic when she started running a fever and had severe
pain. We did an ultrasound and sent her to the hospital
where they did surgery taking out part of her intestines.
Now she needs special colostomy bags…which we cannot
Felipe is 53 years old. He was diagnosed with advanced
Parkinson ’s disease five years ago. He too has type 2
diabetes and hypertension as well. He lives with his wife
who cares for him and cooks and sells bunuelos, a
Nicaraguan dish that is fried yucca dough with honey. She
has a difficult time caring for him as the disease progresses, and
they are so, so poor.
Three years ago he could talk…now he cannot because of all
the tremors. We give him medication for the Parkinson’s
which helps some, plus diabetes and hypertension medicines, though
he is having complications in his hands and feet. Our
medical staff visit him at home because it is hard for him
to come to the clinic.
Tomás is 84 years old. He lives with a family that took
him in. They live in the Areas Verde of Nueva Vida…the
green area. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? In actuality, it
is the squatters of Nueva Vida who have put up a shack of tin or
cardboard. Tomás has a room that is as big as his pitiful
He suffers from an arterial ulcer on his foot that he has
tended for 16 years. His toenails have
atrophied. He, too, is diabetic. He got the ulcer
while fishing 20 years ago. He came down from the campo,
the remote rural areas of Nicaragua, to try and make a living
fishing in the polluted lake of Managua. While fishing in
the lake…with no boat…he was bitten by something. The wound
never healed. Patches would help a great deal.
season, give a gift that
will help Lupe, Felipe, Tomás and
others like them who suffer from poverty and
these conditions that you and I cannot imagine
unless they are described to us.