Day 10 – Last Day in Cuenca

Last Saturday, we mentioned that we were excited for one of our previous patients, Freddy, to come visit our team at the hospital and catch up with him and his wife. This morning we had that chance as Freddy came up to the ward and surprised us around 10 am! In 2017, Freddy who had a young family at the time visited our clinic at the rotary on crutches unable to bear weight on his right foot. He had fallen out of a tree and hurt his lower leg and had been suffering due to this injury ever since. After falling out of the tree, he had endured 48 surgeries over 2 years trying to fix his leg. Our team at the clinic felt that it was best to amputate below his knee, and after consideration with his family he agreed to have the procedure done. Today, 3 years later, he came back to visit and share how his life has changed after the surgery. Freddy has finished his marketing degree at university and plans on opening a restaurant. Him and his wife Julianna have also recently had a 3rd child since his surgery and Freddy has completed the 2 km swim in an iron man race, tag-teaming the triathlon with 2 other para-athletes. He has a prosthetic leg that he received from the Harley Davidson Charity, and says that it works so well that most other students at his university never even knew that he had a prosthetic.

“You guys changed my life, I have now a lot of things…..I have finished my university degree…all is perfect”

Asking Julianna how life has changed for her since Freddy received help through the mission, she said they were no longer scared. He had no more infections, and she was no longer worried about him when he went to sleep. He is much more able to take care of their newborn now that he is not constantly in pain or battling infections and fevers.

“After the surgery, (Freddy doesn’t) like to be in bed or depend on other people….he lifts weights now”

Not long after Freddy and his wife walked out of the hospital after our visit, the last of this year’s patients were discharged from the ward!

With our time at the Santa Ines hospital winding down, we are more flexible to show our appreciation to the staff for all of their help with the mission. They set aside almost an entire floor of their hospital for us to run our ward, ensured we had access to all the resources we needed perform surgeries, did laundry and even fed our team lunch every day. Today, we showed a small token of our appreciation by providing lunch for their staff on the 5th floor.

We have packed up everything in the hospital and stored what we could at Bella’s house here in Cuenca – in fact, an entire cube van full of equipment will be staying here until the team comes back down next year.

As we do each year, some members of our team offered a CPR course to those who would benefit and not otherwise receive this type of first responder training. This year, swim coaches at a sports complex in Cuenca participated.  This was the last event for the year in Cuenca, and the team will be leaving the hotel at 6 am for our flight to Quito, the first leg of our journey back to north of 49!


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