MASH — Mexico: An Appropriate Team Comes Together To Do What Must Be Done Every Month at the Crisis Intervention Clinic, Agua Prieta, Sonora, MX.
-by Dorothea Watkins, President and CEO, Wings of Angels Foundation
Hermosillo, the capital of the Mexican State of Sonora, is four hours away south of our Crisis Intervention Clinic, and yet five cars arrived for our November 7 clinic carrying families and disabled children. Five days before our clinic, Ron Becker arrived from the north, eight hours away, with a load of children’s fitted wheelchairs donated by Denver medical vendors. Our founder, Marge Conroy, skilled physical therapist, was able to fit each child with a perfect chair including suitable neck braces, harnesses, foot rests, etc. This is a very nice story, bringing together the materials from the US and providing special care to children and families for whom there is no one else to turn. It is sensible and efficient. But, yes, you are right to wonder why a large city, a State’s capital, does not have the capacity to provide care and treatment for fundamental life crises such as these?
As our monthly Clinic services grow, more medical volunteers join us. We are now able to give individual, very personal, attention to Type II diabetics to strive for their release from the disease. This is vital because each month we are asked for one or more prostheses for yet another amputation caused by the disease. (Douglas, the US sister city of Agua Prieta, has the highest number of diabetics per 1,000 in the United States. We suspect the Agua Prieta numbers are even higher).
Birth trauma children represent 50% of our clinic patients. Most are convulsive. We are able to treat and stabilize these children soon after we are brought together. Recently we have asked the Logan, Utah/Tucson, Arizona/ Agua Prieta, Sonora Rotarians to provide an International Grant to support our monthly prescription needs. Currently, two hydrocephalic children are awaiting shunt placement. Although one child is three and the other is five, neither have previously received this critical support.
Our friend Ovaldo is a guard at a maquiladora in Agua Prieta. Four weeks ago a robber struck Ovaldo in the back of the head rendering him unconscious. The thief then broke Ovaldo’s arms (four places) and stabbed him several times in the upper body. Ovaldo was transported to a company hospital three hours away in Nogales, Sonora. When he returned to his home, we suspected that the arms were improperly set which we were able to confirm after xraying the breaks. A second company doctor was asked to reset the arms. Subsequent xrays confirmed more improper casting. At this clinic, Ron Becker (former Navy Corpsman) and a young student training to be an orthopedic surgeon, reset the arms, and confirmed by xray that the four breaks were now in proper position.
Many other medical transactions were a part of this long, great day. Our medical volunteers include a neurologist, two doctors finishing their residencies, two nurse practitioners, and five nursing students. The clinic is managed by Nohemi Noriega Torres, Wings of Angels Board Member and Vice President. The database is maintained each month by former Judge Jane Bayham of Phoenix. Mentor Director Claudia Ornelas provides translating services.