Have you ever heard your phone ring, looked down at your caller ID, and wondered if you should answer? After looking at the name, have you sighed and thought, “Do I have enough time to answer this call?”, “I wonder why this person is calling me.”, or “I don’t know if I can help them right now.”? I know I have. The feeling is similar to when you hear someone’s story, and you get this nudge or feeling in your gut that you can and should help them, but you aren’t sure if you want to. It’s the same as answering that phone call and saying, “yes” to someone. Remember that feeling, because I’ll come back to it.
I would like to introduce Wendy, a 15 year old girl, who has been coming to the Foundation for many years to receive Physical Therapy from Gladis and social care from Lorena. Some of you may know her personally from visiting the Berlín area, or maybe you have heard others share about her and her family’s struggles. Or, you may have heard Wendy mentioned in a Homily or two, if you attend St. Boniface Church in Waukee, Iowa. Wendy’s life is like many who live amongst the poorest of the poor, with the exception that she lives it in a wheelchair and with many medical complications. She and her siblings are being raised by their grandmother (pictured) and grandfather; the later, who suffered a stroke, is currently receiving Physical Therapy from Gladis too. They live in a remote rural area barely attainable by foot, let alone in a wheel chair.
Our Social Worker, Lorena, has been accompanying Wendy to her appointments at the National Children’s Hospital for the past few years. Unfortunately, the national government-ran health care system is like a broken record; the same ol’ same ol’, going around and around, leaving people to wait in line but never to get to them. When the public hospital was asked why all the delays, they said there were more than 3,000 similar cases in front of Wendy, so get in line. Wendy has been in line for years, but the line is not getting any shorter. It is like waiting and hoping to win the lottery, but it ain’t gonna happen. The big difference is, this is someone’s LIFE.
April 26, 2017
Visit with Dr. Carlos Eduardo Márquez Pediatric Urologist, San Francisco hospital, San Miguel
Patient: Wendy Nayeli Rivas Portillo