By Rich Lopez
Visit his blog on The Daily Camera
February 17, 2010: Miracles do happen.
Virginia is a 32 year-old woman with three children. She’s been deaf for her entire life. Over time she learned to read lips. However, the limits of reading lips meant she couldn’t hear her baby crying in another room. She spent her life finding ways to deal with her limitations. Fortunately, she had a husband who loved her unconditionally. Still, she always hoped that there might come a day when she could hear. That day was today.
Virginia traveled from the city of Leon, far from Mante. How she learned about the medical mission and its team of audiologist is unknown. Marianne examined her and explained that yes, she was severely deaf. However, they could fit her with a powerful and sophisticated hearing aid they had set aside for just the right patient, and she was the one. Virginia burst into tears, sobbing. At first Marianne thought she was crying because she had told her she was deaf, but no, she was crying tears of joy after learning she could soon hear. Virginia was finally fitted with the hearing aid and her smiled filled the room. A smile Marianne will probably remember for many years and a testament to why she came to Mante.
Finally, a couple of follow-up reports on patients mentioned in earlier blogs. Earlier this week I wrote about a man with a growth the size of an egg on his ear. On the day he was scheduled for surgery, Sarvjit learned that the man had left the hospital and was outside pacing on the sidewalk. He asked a translator to bring the man back and learned that the man was terrified of surgery. Sarvjet spent time explaining the operation, assuring him the surgery would be done under a local anesthesia and thus calming the man’s fears. The surgery was successful. Afterwards Sarvjit asked the man what he planned to do now. “I’m going to go find a girlfriend!!”
The boy with a potentially cancerous tumor was examined under anesthesia on Valentines Day. The surgeon discovered that the tumor was not cancerous and removed it safely. The prayers were answered for this young boy and his family.
Like life, not all the stories of the medical mission have miraculous happy endings. But the desire for great outcomes compels everyone to continue each day, to work a few more hours and probably return next year to Mante.