Posted by: calloftheandes | December 16, 2011

Cousins Injured in Explosion in Ecuador Find Healing at Mission Hospital

On a Monday afternoon earlier this year Steve Wilson, director of HCJB Global Hands’ Hospital Vozandes-Shell (HVO) in Ecuador, was in his office when the chaplain, Pastor Henry Cabrera, hurriedly came by his office.

“Could I borrow the hospital truck to go pick up Marta?” he asked. “There has been some sort of explosion, and her grandson is in the emergency room.”

“Of course,” Wilson answered. “Go get her!”

He was talking about Marta Aguinda who works in the HVO guesthouse about a quarter of a mile from the jungle hospital. It was 3 p.m., so Wilson told him that he should look for her on the road because she was probably on her way home.

“I went to the emergency room a few minutes later,” Wilson related. “Pastor Henry and Marta had just arrived. I soon found out that two of Marta’s grandsons were injured—not just one. Apparently they had been playing behind the house where they found ‘something like dynamite,’ lit a match to it and it exploded.”Within about two weeks, both boys were released from the hospital. Arón has made a full recovery, but Justin continues to need follow-up care as he adjusts to life without hands. The rest of his body is healing physically, but he has a lesion on his neck that will need further surgery. This fall Justin was also expected to be fitted with two prostheses.

Wilson added that since the family was unable to afford medical care for the two boys, the cost of their surgeries and other care was made possible through donated funds from HVO’s Charity Fund.

The older boy, Justin, 7, had lost both his hands in the explosion, and had some damage to his eyes. His cousin, Arón, 5, was also injured but not as badly.

“I arrived just in time to see Justin wheeled rapidly out of the emergency room, heading for surgery,” Wilson explained. “Then I went into Pastor Henry’s office where we spent some time crying and praying.”

He added that Marta’s two daughters (the boys’ mothers) both have part-time, unsteady work. “One is a single mom, and the husband of the other is a bricklayer who also has part-time unsteady work,” he continued. “They all live with Marta who is the only one with a full-time job. But Marta was out of work the entire month of February due to back problems. She had to take out a loan to pay for her medical bills since she had received care at another hospital.”

Within about two weeks, both boys were released from the hospital. Arón has made a full recovery, but Justin continues to need follow-up care as he adjusts to life without hands. The rest of his body is healing physically, but he has a lesion on his neck that will need further surgery. This fall Justin was also expected to be fitted with two prostheses.

Wilson added that since the family was unable to afford medical care for the two boys, the cost of their surgeries and other care was made possible through donated funds from HVO’s Charity Fund.

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