Queridos Amigos de la Clinica,
As you are someone who may have spent time on the gorgeous Pacific coast near our Clinic community in Nicaragua or who would like to…
I want to share some good news about what our Clinic is doing for our impoverished local friends… and how it’s making a big difference in the lives of people in this part of the world who are really struggling. And I want to introduce you to some patients who, through the Clinic and your support, received the critical help they needed so today they can celebrate this holiday season.
One is Jimmy Antonio Romero Ronca. Jimmy is a 28-year-old bricklayer in his hometown of Astillero, a small fishing and surfing village not far from the Clinic. He usually goes peacefully about his existence, enjoying the comforts of friends and family. But one late day this past September, Jimmy found himself suffering inexplicably from abdominal pain and vomiting. In most areas of rural Nicaragua, there would be nowhere for Jimmy to turn. He might have relied on uncertain remedies or had to travel long distances for help. This would be expensive not only in money, but in time. And in his current state, Jimmy wasn’t sure how much time he could spare.
Fortunately, Jimmy knew where he could receive immediate and expert attention only 12 miles away: our Clinic. Our medical staff assessed the situation and acted fast. They took Jimmy’s vital signs and efficiently determined that Jimmy was suffering from tachycardia (a dangerously high heart rate) accompanied by extremely low blood pressure. Our fears for Jimmy’s safety were eased by the collective knowledge and expertise of our staff as they treated and stabilized him, before transporting him in the Clinica’s ambulance to the local hospital in Rivas. How thankful we are for the ambulance! Without your past generous donations that allowed the purchase of out ambulance, this story might have gone very differently.
I invite you to imagine spending your Christmas or New Year’s in this place…
At an impoverished tropical village in Southwestern Nicaragua on the Pacific coast where many of us spend time, or plan to, each year because of the beauty of the landscape and the people. It’s a beloved place, where hundreds of poor families are trying right now to make the best of the holiday season.
You would undoubtedly enjoy the generous warmth of the locals’ holiday spirit. You would be invited to partake in Christmas festivities and traditions very different from what you are probably used to.
Imagine attending one of the local events, where you would travel past small farms and shacks, dodging pigs and chickens crossing the dirt road. You pass under colorful small town banners as you overtake the old gentleman carting his sugarcane pulled by oxen. Peer into the small shacks where you may see a modest holiday decoration or two. Wave to the local uniformed children walking home from school… perhaps carrying a special holiday project for their parents. And be sure to stop by the roadside bake sale where you can sample local holiday treats for just a few cordobas… pennies to us.
But let’s not forget what else we would easily see:
- The many families here in the Pacific coastal community who dont have running water…
- Who don’t have more than a two-room wooden shack…
- Where even having a low-paying manual job is a luxury.
- It’s hard to imagine how these families will celebrate this holiday season…
After a one-week hospital stay in the intensive care unit, Jimmy not only returned home, but also paid the Clinic a visit. He made this trip to thank us for the medical attention he received and, more importantly, for saving his life. In cases like Jimmy’s, we recognize that the clinic and its ambulance are true assets to the community, without which Jimmy would certainly have died.
Thousands of Nicaraguans rely on the quality and affordability of our services. (Last year we had over 12,000 patient visits). This type of care is hardly a guarantee for many of this poor country’s citizens. Without your continuing donations, free to low-cost quality healthcare wouldn’t be possible for the village of Limon or for any of the 27 surrounding communities.
I also want to introduce you to Judelma Azucena Cerda Reyes. Judelma is 26 years old and hails from the town of Virgen Morena, about six miles from the Clinic. She had been experiencing minor health complaints for a couple of months, but suddenly she knew she needed to seek professional help when her symptoms increased to radiating abdominal pain and bleeding. She knew she could count on the Clinic to set things right. At first our team was uncertain what was ailing her, but using our new ultrasound machine, they were able to clearly determine that she was suffering an ectopic pregnancy. Despite the excitement of an unmistakable diagnosis, the condition meant that Judelma was in grave danger. Our team of doctors and nurses worked diligently to stabilize her condition before transporting her to the hospital in Rivas. At the hospital, they operated immediately. The urgency of the situation made us all acutely thankful for the speed of treatment at the Clinic, as well as for the ambulance that was able to transport Judelma safely and swiftly. What’s more, the ultrasound equipment was literally a lifesaver.
Community leaders living near our Clinic tell us repeatedly how grateful they are to have the doctors and nurses available 24/7 in a clean facility surrounded by palm trees and hibiscus, that offers a respite from the dusty, smoky and often contaminated living conditions of many families in this region and how grateful they are to have lifesaving equipment they never had access to before, like the ambulance and the ultrasound machine. We could not have purchased this equipment without support from individual donors like you. Make your donations here.
Judelma’s family is beyond grateful for our services. Without the equipment, our experienced doctors and the ambulance, Judelma could have easily experienced further complications, and there would be little reason to celebrate this holiday season.
The communities of Southwest Nicaragua depend on the Clinic for its life-saving capabilities, and the demand continues to grow. Generous donations in the past years have made the expansion of our services possible. Today we need your help to expand our facilities so we can provide two consultation rooms, space for observation of critical patients, a small surgery room with equipment to perform non-invasive procedures, a room for community outreach and educational activities, and two bathrooms.
The increased size of our facilities can only lead to increased opportunities for better health for thousands of people. And, since the Roberto Clemente-Santa Ana Health Clinic is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, your donation is 100% tax-deductible. Donate now so the Clinic can continue to make a difference.
The 2013-2015 plan to expand our facilities has already begun this year. During Director Juan Munoz’s annual visit in July, he, together with talented donor volunteers, completely redid the Clinic’s kitchen with a serious makeover, including new cabinets, a countertop and a modern refrigerator to keep medicines.
Expansions to our medical team also allow us to ensure we have a diligent 24/7 staff of doctors and nurses on hand for any emergency. We’re thrilled that Dr. Francis Guevara, an a surgiring facial reconstruction surgeon, and Dr. Maria Gabriel Borge, an aspiring pediatrician, joined the Clinic this year. Both are graduates of surgical medicine, and each brings welcome expertise to help our ever-growing number of patients.
But this is only the beginning. We also provide health education and funds to families for their children to go to school as well as to those families who care for the disabled in our community. And we will be doubling our efforts to reach out to the most despondent families, those who may not be able to have a merry Christmas or New Year without some caring extra support.
Our goal for 2015 is to continue raising extra funds for a facility and equipment expansion that will allow the Clinic to continue to serve the people of this poor area who depend on our clinic for their health and survival’s patients like Jimmy and Judelma who owe their lives to the very existence of the Roberto Clemente-Santa Ana Health Clinic.
Unfortunately, construction and material costs have gone up dramatically in Nicaragua since we opened the Clinic 10 years ago. The full cost of the additions has been estimated at $145,000 for construction costs and $65,000 for equipment costs. The equipment will be partially donated and partially purchased from secondhand and refurbished shops, allowing your contribution of any amount to go a long way.
And we have matching funds for your donation, generously pledged by the Ford Family Foundation. You can make this goal happen and you can help the Clinic reach its goals, whether its to help us with the expansion, or help a family celebrate the holiday, or help a child get to school, you can make your contribution here.
And whether or not you have a medical background, we invite you to visit the clinic and visit this beautiful country. We welcome volunteers, and we’re located by the stunning Pacific coast, where there are plenty of nice places to stay for all budgets. Take the opportunity to really see where your donation goes. Click here for details.
All the best,
Chair of the Board,
The Roberto Clemente-Santa Ana Health Clinic
P.S. Please donate now and we can double your contribution! AGORA, Inc. and The Ford Family Foundation are generously providing matching funds for all your donations in 2013.