Dear Friends of CHHF,
By the time you receive this newsletter Halloween will have passed, and you will have the special memories of all the ghosts and goblins whom you “treated.” Your memories should also include those unnamed patients who, through your generous donations, have been treated medically at our clinics. Without you, this provision of medical care for the unfortunate in the Limón area would not be possible. In this newsletter, we share with you some stories of how you have helped and the hope you are giving.
Diego’s story – In 2013 at the age of one, little Diego was referred by CHHF to Friends of Barnabas for a pediatric cardiac consultation. Doctors confirmed narrowing of the aorta with a definite need for surgery. Without the diagnosis at CHHF, the family would not have known of the cardiac issue. If they had, they would have had few options in seeking affordable medical intervention. Diego’s surgery was performed in San Pedro Sula in 2014 by the pediatric cardiac surgeon of Friends of Barnabas. Today Diego is doing well. Through your support, his family has continued to receive travel funds for the day’s journey to return to the Friends of Barnabas clinic for follow-up evaluations. We are extremely grateful for the surgery provided by our sister charity Friends of Barnabas which has helped not only Diego, but others whom we have referred. Volunteer CHHF medical teams continue to provide for Diego’s routine care at our clinic. Recently his cardiac specialist noted that he was not growing at the rate anticipated; he encouraged Diego’s mother to enrich his diet.
Often such a request is difficult for a family with limited income. That’s why one team thought of the perfect gift for Diego. When a patient brought a thank-you gift of a 2 liter bottle of milk from her favorite cow, the team expressed thanks and wondered what they would do with the milk. Immediately they remembered little Diego and knew he would benefit from that milk. Now when Diego comes to the clinic, he hopes for a gift of milk and teams are pleased to share with him.
In September, when Diego and his mother went to San Pedro Sula for an annual check-up, the mother was given two prescriptions for Diego. Bringing the prescriptions to the CHHF clinic, she hoped the pharmacy could provide the medicine which she could not afford. Unfortunately, neither was stocked. Thus, a request was sent to La Ceiba that CHHF’s administrative secretary purchase the medicine using your donated funds. However, there would be no team traveling to the clinic for two weeks. The secretary put the medications in a bag and sent them on the local bus for delivery to a CHHF employee who then ensured that Diego received his needed medicine. In Limón, receiving medicine is not simply a visit to the local pharmacy!!!!!
Recent Requests for House Calls – Making a house call is not customary practice for our doctors. However, because families in Honduras often have no personal transportation and no Honduran doctor is available for such, the only way for some patients to receive medical care is for one of our doctors to visit. Recently, several teams have had that request. In Icoteas a woman came and asked if the doctors would see her relative at home. Several of the team went to the home and provided palliative care. Another team in the remote village of Feo was asked by an elderly man to come to his home to see his bedridden wife. Two of the team volunteered and found a 73 year old woman with pressure sores on both heels for which they provided antibiotics and creams.
Community Development Program donates computers – Educational opportunities offer children an opportunity to learn skills needed for the workplace, to help end a continuing cycle of poverty. A recent opportunity was presented to CHHF, and your donations allowed us to respond. In October 2016, the computer teacher at the high school approached Board member Gail Gillis and explained the need for computers at the school. At that time, students enrolled in a computer class were learning from a book! In March a group from the foundation met with the high school principal and developed a partnership whereby the school would provide dedicated classroom space and security plus an internet connection, and, through your donations, computers with software and a printer would be purchased.
In July 2017, Gladis Aquiriano, Community Development and Education coordinator, and CHHF Honduran Director David Kelly delivered the computers with Microsoft Office Pro and printer to the Abel Gonzales Caballero high school in Limón. Then in September Gail returned and visited the computer lab at the high school. She reported that the students are engaged and learning. They expressed gratitude for your making this possible.
Recent Medical Referrals – In September Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gordon Robinson of Alabama volunteered at the Coyoles Hospital as he does twice each year. Dr. Robinson always tells CHHF that he will see our patients on the first day of clinic; they arrive with a remission sheet so they do not have to stand in long lines. This time your donations provided bus fares for four mothers and their four children who have cleft palates. Dr. Robinson donates his time and all necessary supplies and medications. Photos show the child Melvin and the miraculous improvement made in two years.
Other patients for whom your donations have recently been significant:
• A 23-year-old woman with significant gallstones was referred to the World Surgical Foundation
in San Pedro Sula the last week of September. They required lab tests before the surgery; your donations paid these lab expenses plus transportation to the hospital and one night in a hotel awaiting her surgical appointment.
• A six-year-old girl was referred to Friend of Barnabas for pediatric cardiac evaluation. Transportation costs were provided and Friends of Barnabas asked for a donation of funds to cover partial cost of the many tests required for a diagnosis. Specialists diagnosed enlargement of the heart and a small aortic aneurysm. Surgery will be scheduled this year.
• A six-year-old boy with esotropia (one eye turned inward) was sent to an eye clinic offered by Christian Medical Service Center of Honduras. There surgeons corrected the esotropia; your donations covered the costs of surgery and four trips for the mother and child to El Progresso.
As you have seen in this and previous newsletters, your donations are providing healthcare and learning experiences in Honduras which are life changing. People in need are receiving life-saving healthcare and medicines. Children are receiving educational opportunities not previously available in the hope for meaningful employment when they finish school. None of this is possible without you.
As we approach the Thanksgiving season, we reflect upon our blessings. During this reflective time, please remember that in Honduras, with a population in excess of 8 million, 64 percent live in poverty ($2 per day per person) and 36 percent in extreme poverty. In the area served by you through the Carolina Honduras Health Foundation, the percentage living in extreme poverty is even higher. The needs in Honduras are tremendous….and you are making a difference!
N. K. Hook, Jr.
Carolina Honduras Health Foundation is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.
Our Federal Identification Number is 57-1023037. Main Address: PO Box 528, Barnwell, SC 29812, USA.