Wednesday was a busy and successful first day in El Hato! The dental team saw more than 55 patients and physical therapist, Maureen Gonzales, consulted eight patients. We also welcomed Jorge, a friendly and helpful man who works for Tom, to help us for the day by translating, as necessary.
El Hato community members waiting in line for their dental appointments.
Maureen saw several challenging patients today, including her first patient, an adult female who was experiencing pain and stiffness in her wrist that she had broken several months prior. After walking her through exercises that should help bring mobility to the woman’s arm, Maureen stated, “I asked her to come back tomorrow to see me again, if she can, because it takes more than one visit for the patients to learn how to do the exercises accurately. I’m happy to be able to help her, especially knowing that she is in a lot of pain.”
Physical Therapist, Maureen Gonzales, works on her first patient, a woman experiencing severe pain in her wrist.
Members of the Transitions Foundation, a Guatemalan non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Guatemalans with disabilities, came to say hello and offer their support to the team. This included Alex Galvez, executive director and co-founder of the Transitions Foundation and co-founder of the Transitions Foundation, John Bell. The team has been working with the Transitions Foundation for many years. Friday, the team will bus Transitions Foundation patients to El Hato for dental work.
Dr. Katie Marsh, assisted by Dr. Ben Gonzales, extracts a tooth on a young girl. Co-Founder of the Transitions Association, John Bell, and her sister reassure the girl.
Before the team took a break for lunch, Dr. Brittany Fox and Dr. Sarah Post treated a 12 year old girl who had a rare genetic disorder, Enamel Hypoplasia. Enamel Hypoplasia is when the tooth enamel doesn’t form completely and is structurally compromised. People with this disorder have teeth that cannot withstand the normal wear and tear of everyday use, making it even more difficult for someone who doesn’t regularly visit the dentist to take proper care of their teeth. Dr. Fox and Dr. Post successfully extracted three molars from the girl.
Dr. Sarah Post examines the young girl with Enamel Hypoplasia.
One of the young boys the team met Monday, Juan Miguel, returned yesterday to have his two front (baby) teeth extracted, as they hadn’t fallen our yet despite his two front (adult) teeth having already grown in.
Juan Miguel and Dr. Ben Gonzales smile for the camera. Juan returned Wednesday to receive dental treatment.
The team’s last two patients of the day, Eva and Evelyn, 13 and 14, were by far the most eager and excited to be here. Both girls were giggling and chatting with the team as everyone was wrapping up for the day. Rotarian Auggie Gonzales remembers first meeting the two girls 10 years ago when they were small children.
Auggie with Eva and Evelyn.
The team will return to El Hato today and expects to have an equally busy and rewarding day.