Seven months ago, I received a picture of this baby (named Keilin) that was three days old with a cleft lip. Dr. Criseida Quispe Cabrera from San Borja was asking me if ASDEIH (Association of Development Integral humanitarian), could help the baby. Months passed, and there were no opportunities to help this family. Finally, after 5 months, the doctors from San Borja, Dr. Criseida and Dr. Carmen Navarro, again, asked me if there was any possibility for a surgery. At the beginning of January, I contacted Dr. Ximena Trujillo, leader of Carita Feliz’ Foundation (Happy Face) who gives away free surgeries. The Foundation told us that in January 28 they would have a pre-selection for patients and those selected would have their surgeries the following week.
In January 15, I sent Dr. Trujillo the baby’s laboratory results from San Borja, showing that the baby (6 months and 15 days) had her glycemia at 140 and the normal is 70. The doctors from the Foundation got worried, and they immediately asked if the baby could come to Santa Cruz in one or two days because she needed to begin the treatment for her high glycemia.
By Thursday Jan 19, the baby, her 16-year-old mother and her grandmother were coming to Santa Cruz, they spend 20 hours on the road by minivan and bus. Thank God they arrived safely at the bus station. From there we went straight to the children’s hospital, where the doctors retook her laboratory tests and to our surprise her glycemia was normal. Keilin was ready for the surgery! She only had low hemoglobin, so she began taking iron drops. On the 28th we went to hospital for the pre-selection, since they were long distance patients the Foundation put Keilin first on the list for the surgeries. Keilin had the blessing to have her surgery, Monday 29 at 3:30 in the afternoon.
That Monday it began raining almost all day, filling the streets with water. The Campus of Red ADvenir is 1 hour and 30 minutes from the hospital, Lara and I took two buses to get at the hospital and when we arrived we found Keilin, Lizday and Teodora sitting waiting in the hall of the hospital. Teodora, the grandmother said to us: “The surgery finished early and the doctors said that Keilin can go home. They are sending all the babies with surgeries home. We didn’t know how communicate with you, because our phone died”. We waited until Brian one of the volunteers came to pick us up. In the middle of pouring rain we returned home with Keilin, her mother and grandmother.
The doctors gave us specific rules after the surgery, the baby can’t not touch her mouth, that’s why we put cardboard on her arms, for 3 weeks she couldn’t use the baby bottle, she could only be fed with a syringe or a spoon. The doctors said that Keilin couldn’t laugh neither cry a lot because her stitches could come open. It was a real blessing that her mother and grandmother, were working together as a team to care for Keilin. They showed a lot of love for her in those days. With the medicine, antibiotics and pain medicine Keilin was going very well.
The mother and grandmother wanted to return to their house; the father of Keilin and the rest of the family wanted to see her. But the weather was not good, it was raining a lot, the road from Trinidad to San Borja (6 hours by minivan) was closed because of the raining and also, with the surgery, it was impossible sent Keilin by Bus. We promised the doctors that she would return to her house by airplane, it was the only way because the raining season in Bolivia had begun. The plan was that they could return to San Borja on Wednesday by airplane. Steven Wilson, the pilot, had said that the airport of San Borja was closed due to so much rain, for safety. And because Teodora and Lizday were in a hurry to return to their home; together, we began praying asking God for a miracle to open the runway in San Borja. Also, we had the blessing to give them Bibles.
Thursday evening Steven flew to Santa Cruz from Rurrenabaque, and when he got out of the airplane he said “The runway of San Borja is open, the tower opens this afternoon”, Keilin’s family was so happy and Steven told them that next day they would depart to San Borja at 7:00 am.
The next morning, the sky was cloudy and raining, and the clouds were so low that the tower of Trompillo here in Santa Cruz didn’t allow Steven to fly. The good thing was that the weather in San Borja was sunny. But here in Santa Cruz all we could do was wait until the weather got better throughout the day. At 10 o’clock in the morning everybody was ready inside the airplane to go down the runway but when Steven asked for permission to fly the Tower refused. He tried again at 12:30 pm and finally at 2:15 pm, thanks to God this time the tower allowed Steven to leave.
The rain continued for several days, Keilin’s family sent me a picture that their house had water inside and they needed to move to another house. But they were so happy that they were all together and that Keilin’s surgery was a success! We thank God for everything, for providing for Keilin and her family’s trip. Also, we thank the doctors Griceida Quispe Carrera and Carmen Navarro for their unconditional help.
The medical aviation project in Bolivia is a blessing for patients like Keilin that live far away and doesn’t have the money to travel and get necessary medical attention. But not everything is easy, many times the climate does not help with flights and we depend on constant prayer.
We thank each one of you for your prayers and support, it means a lot to us. Thank You!
God Bless you!
Mirta and Miguel Farias