Andres and Eduardo

Andres and Eduardo

At the 6:30am team meeting, Freddy’s comfort was utmost in everyone’s mind.  There was an audible sigh of relief to learn that Freddy’s pain was being well managed.   When we arrived at the hospital at 8am, with “his angel” (mother) at his bedside, he was comfortable and in good spirits.  The whole team had been genuinely concerned.  The processors even came up on the ward and met Freddy and his family.

Hip dysplasia is a congenital disease.  It is also a developmental disease, exasperated by the way infants are swaddled with their legs together.  This method of swaddling has been common in Ecuador.  Essentially, there is a poorly formed acetabulum which does not properly cover the femoral head.  In other words, the hip socket does not properly cover the ball of the thigh bone.  The result is early arthritis and debilitating or constant pain.  TNM has the experience and expertise to provide a complicated surgical procedure called PAO which can help patients overcome this problem.

Andres and Eduardo are 21 year old twins from Gualaceo, 30 minutes outside of Cuenca.  They are both polite, soft spoken, handsome young men with sparkling eyes.  Andres is the older twin.  He is a driver and lives with his mother.  Eduardo is a carpenter.  He is married with a three year old daughter named Allison Micaela.  Both boys have not been able to work.  Their mother is supporting them.

The twins have suffered constant hip pain.  Around the age of 11 they found out the pain was caused by hip dysplasia.  The pain prevented them from enjoying sports and the other activities they enjoyed.

Last year, the twins tell us that Andres’ pain was so bad that he went to the hospital in their home town, Gualaceo.  But there was nothing they could do for him.  He was told to try a hospital in Cuenca, a bigger Centre.   He was fortunate that the doctor in Cuenca knew of True North Missions and urged Andres to get help from our team.  Andres did just that.  Llast year when the team was in Cuenca, the True North Missions team fixed his left hip.  That left hip is now pain free and Andres thanks us and is happy that it feels very strong.   This year, he is back asking for help because his other hip has become intolerable with pain.  His twin, Eduardo has also requested help for his hip.

Yesterday both twins were admitted for PAO surgery.  Andres told us that last year it was scary.  But he had the surgery so that he could have hope for a normal life and work normally like other people.  This year, he trusts us and knows that we are a good team.  His brother, Eduardo on the other hand was a little more apprehensive and rather very quiet before the surgery.

Several hours later, both were back from surgery and on the ward with their beds side by side.  The twins had successful PAOs.  Andres and Eduardo say that once they feel good, they want to go to college to have a better life.  When they feel stronger, they want to play soccer.  Twenty one year old boys have similar dreams all over the world.  And every twenty one year old boy should have a chance to have their dreams come true.  Our team members are so grateful to have a part in giving Andres and Eduardo that chance.

Five surgeries today.  So far, nine patients have already gone home with their discharge packs full of meds, dressings, bandages and instructions.

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