POSTING DATE:  2012-10-31 14:30:46    -by Jessie Crabtree
Patient Name:  Cristina    Age: 45.
Nicaragua: A Very Long Journey

     AFTER

Cristina was seen in the medical clinic during the Kirby River Trip in September, 2012.  The team visited the village of Pueblo Nuevo, near the Laguna de Perlas, in the department of R.A.A.S.

The first thing Cristina asked when she sat down in her chair in the clinic was, "Do you do surgeries here?"  It was discovered that Cristina had known for years that she had an inguinal hernia.  It was painful and significantly affected her ability to work.  She'd tried multiple times to have surgery done on it through various hospitals, but every means to do so was met with a dead end. 

The team decided to pursue treating Cristina through covering her surgery, food, lodging, and transportation through a private hospital. Financially, it was possible to treat Cristina; however, there was a big hurdle: Transportation.  The location of Pueblo Nuevo, RAAS, is on the far East side of Nicaragua.  Transportation is primarily by foot or boat.  Boat rides are extremely expensive for anyone traveling, and pretty much impossible for people who are barely able to make ends meet at home. In addition, there are no private hospitals on the Eastern side of Nicaragua. In order for Cristina to have her surgery, she'd have to travel very far to a private hospital. We shared with Cristina that we'd help make her surgery happen, but needed to make sure she understood how to get there. The journey would be very complicated and long.  For someone who'd hardly been outside of her village, traveling to this hospital would be a huge adventure. 

Although a bit nervous about the prospect of traveling so much, Cristina bravely committed to going.  Since cell phones are scares and cell phone signals are even scarcer in this area, we went ahead and ensured an appointment for Cristina's surgery be made prior to us leaving the village.  This is a bit of a unique thing to do with Project Life in Nicaragua. So, the Monday after the team left the village of Pueblo Nuevo, Cristina made her journey for her Tuesday appointment for surgery.  Here's how it looked:

Walked 2 hours to Pueblo Nuevo; took a 2 hour boat ride to a port called Cukra Hill; took a 4-hour bus ride to the town of El Rama; took a 5-hour bus ride from El Rama to Managua; then finally took a 2 1/2-hour bus ride from Managua to Matagalpa, finally arriving at the private hospital that would be treating her.

Cristina spent a few days in the hospital in Matagalpa.  Finally, she had the surgery she'd been waiting years for!  And it was a success!

 
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