By Nelson Guzman, Friends of Paramedics for Children
On July 28th, a call went out from P.F.C. for emergency donations to help transport little (4 day old) Rudin Fernando Mendes Ramirez to the hospital. P.F.C. has an emergency transportation fund for such purposes but the fund was depleted, as it often is.
The call was for $33.33 U.S. (800 Honduran lempiras) to provide round-trip bus transportation to the hospital for Little Rudin, his mom, and grandma, plus money for food for grandma for at least 2 days.
Well, because in Honduran hospitals, they provide meals for the babies as well as their moms but no one else, so grandmothers, etc. must fend for themselves when they accompany their children/grandchildren to a hospital. AND the people who come to P.F.C.’s clinic cannot afford to pay for the cost of bus transportation for one person, let alone three, much less pay for their own meals while at the hospital. AND, once they arrive at the local hospital to receive care, the “accommodations” are less than world-class. EVERYBODY sleeps on the floor including the patients because the local hospitals are ALWAYS so overcrowded. Yet, without P.F.C.’s emergency transportation funds, P.F.C.’s littlest patients would not even get this far. But this is the end of little Rudin’s story.
The beginning starts, as so many do, at P.F.C.’s medical clinic. Here, because little Rudin was so malnourished, his life was in danger. P.F.C.’s Doctor Miguel provided Rudin’s mom with syringes of vitamin-enriched rehydration formula for him, and oxygen therapy – but this was not enough. The decision was then made by Dr. Miguel that Rudin needed immediate in-patient hospital care. And that was the easy part!
In order to get Rudin safely to the hospital, P.F.C. had to prepare him medically for the very bumpy 2.5 hour bus trip (sorry, no ambulances available). Preparing him for his journey entailed giving his mom sufficient syringes of rehydration formula to feed him before and along the way, and oxygenating him first with medium concentration oxygen for several hours (utilizing our large donated O2 tank), then putting him on low flow oxygen (utilizing P.F.C.’s existing in-house oxygen generator) for several more hours beforehand so that no respiratory complications would arise during his trip to the hospital. We (specifically Friends of P.F.C. Dr. Havern and Lorenzo) provided the large oxygen tank delivery system needed to prepare little Rudin for his journey! Before Dr. Haveron’s generous donation, P.F.C. had no such medium/high concentration oxygen delivery system. Along with hopefully many other donors, we also helped pay for the medicines (including formula) needed, and provided for free by the clinic to all its patients.
All over the developing world, small life and death dramas like this are taking place, far from the eyes of an ever more catastrophe-weary public. Such dramas unfold at least once a week at P.F.C. when very sick/injured children, expectant moms with potential delivery complications, and sick/injured teenagers and/or adults require more intensive/in-patient care than any medical clinic can ever provide. But, we, the members of Friends of Paramedics for Children are there, with others, watching, responding as best we can. Within 3 days, I responded to Roger’s call for the $33 in emergency funds. By then half a dozen other donors had already done so. For now, P.F.C.’s emergency transportation fund is somewhat replenished, just waiting for that next transportation emergency, which will surely come, soon. By the way, who always drives the patients/family to the bus stop-Roger (and always free of charge,of course).
Thank you “Friends…” for helping make little Rudin’s care possible. Muchas gracias, Merci, Danke, Obrigado, Grazie!
P.S. Little Rudin is home after 9 days in the hospital, safe and sound, for now. But, just in case, P.F.C., and we donors are standing by, watching…. 🙂