Here is a quick update and some feel good moments from our programs in February.
We started the police officer training on the 23rd of February and successfully graduated all 5 officers (see photo above) from the first training class and have 2 candidates for the next level of training. We have training courses booked every Tuesday thru Thursday for the month of March with police officers.
The highlight of the month for our team was the kick off to the Red Bank home visit program last Friday. Yessenia (one of the medics) did up the initial report and that day, they were able to see 15 patients. Up until now, our program has focused on the elderly or disabled (amputees, injuries etc) but we now have our first pediatric program participants. She has 3 pediatric patients from her visits last week, two are young girls (ages 5 and 6) who were both born deaf. Their family has the referral to the specialist in Dangriga (a 45 minute drive) however have been unable to afford to get the girls to the clinic for the surgical appointments and to have tubes put in their ears as they struggle just to feed the family. The other pediatric patient is 14 year old Joel who was born blind and has a severe form of epilepsy. His mother lost hope about 3 years ago when it became too expensive to pay bus fare to the doctors and to get him medication. He is now in a state where his seizures last upwards of 2 minutes at a time as he has been without meds for the past 36 months.
Yessenia reported that there were tears and a sense of excitement that Red Bank would now have access to care. They are so remote and the road so horrible that we sent the two medics in a truck to make sure they could access the village as it has been raining. It both breaks our hearts and gives us a renewed sense of purpose to read reportings of cases like these. In two weeks time they will return to assess an additional 15 patients as well as leaving time to check up on the ones they met on Friday. The need in that village is so great so now we look for ways to fundraise to get our pediatric patients the surgery / medications they need to improve their quality of life along with the continued visits to support their families as well as our geriatric patients who simply need to know that someone cares.
I love getting to write this, it’s the good news to go with the heartbreaking calls we have. Our entire staff has asked that I thank you once again for supporting the Red Bank initiative. Helping those who are desperately in need is very near and dear to their hearts and as they all have children, these cases tugged at the heart strings a little bit more. The team is already working on ways to fundraise what is needed for the kids so hopefully by the time I update next they have at least been able to visit the hospital for assessments.
Thank you for the blessings you have made possible!