29 Nov 2012
In September I wrote about a mother and daughter. The first time I met them Sara and Suceli were on their way to UNICAR, a cardiac hospital in Guatemala City. Four-year-old Suceli was to have an operation for a congenital heart condition. Since then the two have stopped by Pop Wuj with relative frequency; Sara has occasional meetings with the director of our social outreach projects. They remembered me from our first introduction and would often look for me to say hi.
In our further encounters I learned that Sara is a madre soltera. Single mother. Suceli’s father abandoned them while Sara was pregnant. They are not, however, without support. They live with Sara’s parents, four brothers, four sisters, and two grandmothers. It was her brother who donated blood for Suceli’s operation. Sara finds work sewing clothes to contribute to the family income. Suceli is her only child.
In the summer of 2012 Sara took Suceli to a mobile clinic that Pop Wuj had scheduled near their town of Paraje Xek’axtun. She was concerned; her daughter seemed to tire more easily than she should. Dr. Wilder examined Suceli. He noted a heart murmur that he thought warranted further workup. Suceli was keyed in to our chronic patient program then referred to UNICAR.
Through UNICAR Suceli received all her care for her heart condition up through the surgery. They evaluated her, did studies and imaging, made the diagnosis and recommendations. The following September UNICAR doctors performed her surgery. A few weeks later she came to Pop Wuj Clinic to have her stitches removed.
Since then it has been, shall we say, difficult to get in touch with UNICAR. We still do not know what Suceli’s final diagnosis was nor what surgery was ultimately completed. Wilder sent them a letter requesting her records, or at least the principal information, which went unanswered.
The fact that we don’t know the details of Suceli’s care is embarrassing. As regards the health care projects Pop Wuj is accountable to Timmy Global Health, an organization based out of Indianapolis that partners with the clinic and generously supports the chronic patients.
But an unsettling lack of information is not all we have to report back to Timmy. “Ya no se queja del corazón”. Now Suceli doesn’t complain about her heart, reveals Sara. “She also eats more than before.” Sara tells me Suceli no longer tires easily. One fine day I find them on the roof of Pop Wuj where the four-year-old explorer is skipping around and marveling at the view.
For more backstory see: https://naranetacrossing.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/suceli-and-sara/