Posted by: calloftheandes | June 10, 2010

Ecuadorian Youth Pastor Finds Healing at HCJB Global’s Hospital in Quito

Not yet 40 years old, Carlos Balseca faced chronic pain and a grim prognosis—life as a quadriplegic—upon arriving at HCJB Global’s Hospital Vozandes- Quito (HVQ) in Ecuador. Today he enjoys the hope of a better future.

A pastoral visit by chaplain Antonio Torres.

Badly burned on the face, chest, arms and hands, Balseca was admitted to another Quito hospital earlier this year. However, he signed himself out after two months because the staff refused to believe that he was suffering from severe neck pain. He then went to a private doctor who ordered an MRI of his neck and sent him to HVQ.

When he checked into HVQ, Balseca was suffering from hospital-acquired Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in his skin grafts, according to Dr. Dick Douce, medical director at HVQ. MRSA is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.

On top of that, a bone infection due to Pseudomonas, a second kind of hospital-acquired germ in his neck, threatened to paralyze him.

“I had hardly arrived in the emergency room at Hospital Vozandes,” Balseca said, “when they told me they needed to operate … that it (infection) was in my neck … and had entered my bones.”

Dr. Dick Douce, Hospital Vozandes Medical Director, and Chaplain Torres with Carlos.

Douce said there was an abscess in his vertebra—a pocket of pus pushing on the spinal cord—causing the pain. “That had to be drained immediately before it could pinch off the nerves to the rest of his body,” he explained. “We took him to surgery and give him intravenous antibiotics in hospital for six weeks, hoping to save his neurological function.”

Balseca had to stay in the hospital for an extended period because the Pseudomonas was resistant to most antibiotics, resulting in a large hospital bill. “But the hospital’s Charity Fund was able to cover most of his expensive medical bill,” Douce said.

Confronting severe health challenges, Balseca, a youth pastor, recounts the miracles of God nonetheless. Although his nasal passages were damaged when gasoline burst into flames at close range, physicians passed life-sustaining tubes through the passages and down into his throat.

Today even his face appears normal, as does his chest. “The third miracle was my chest, which is totally fine,” said the 38-year-old youth pastor. In all of this, Balseca credits God for caring for him.

“I know that God has worked greatly in my life,” he related. “It’s a miracle that I’m walking. When my spinal cord problem became known, my children thought I’d be a quadriplegic, so they were astonished to see me walking. When I had my surgeries they’d only hoped for a quadriplegic future [for me], but God performed the miracles!”

“I just saw him in the clinic yesterday,” Douce added. “He and his mom are very thankful for his care. Looks like the neck infection is cured.”


  1. […] chaplaincy program designed for pastors and lay leaders who want to better integrate spiritual with a patient’s medical care. Additionally, the concerns and needs of a patient’s family are also considered. Hospitalization […]

  2. […] related Amara’s experience as an example—among many—in which she participated as a member of the Charity Fund committee. Through 2014 she had worked […]

  3. […] Money is tight for the former farm laborer, so after his family paid a portion, the hospital’s Charity Fund picked up the rest of Arévalo’s […]

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