After 10 days of emotions, hard work, and constant interpretation, I am honored to say that I have worked with some of the most selfless and inspirational individuals. The staff, doctors, and nurses of CRMF, Caring Response Madagascar Foundation, are phenomenal. I would love to share a small story of how I had the ability to witness their selfless actions.
“Thursday morning the team heads out to Hopitaly Be in Tamatave. Excited to meet new faces, we all give each other a round of hugs. One of the doctors grabs my arm and says ‘Hey we have to go check out this patient, can you join to interpret for us please.’ I nod and follow her down the corridor of the hospital into a small room.
There lays a small framed woman, no more than 18 years old, her eyes swollen and yellow, her shortness of breath evoking pain. The doctor makes her way by her side pulling me along. ‘Ask her what hurts? What’s going on? Find out some history for me.” I proceed to have a conversation with this young woman. She is a new mother of a one month old boy, she had complications in her birth which led to a C-section. When the C-section was done they slit open her bowel. The doctors who had done the surgery attempted to sow it back and staple her stomach shut. One month later she still lays on a bed, unable to hold her newborn, unable to find comfort due to a gaping 3 inch deep 4 inch long hole in her abdomen. At first glance the CRMF doctor took a deep breath and stood silently. Two minutes later, the doctor looked at me, looked at the young woman laying in front of her, and looked at the one month old baby squirming near by, ” Tell her we will operate on her tomorrow, tell her not to worry about the medication, the anesthesia, or any expenses, we will take care of it.”
The next day we went into surgery, myself and another PCV, Banaz, witnessed the preparation and surgery. I became surprised at how passion to help others drove these doctors to save this woman’s life. They treated her with dignity with respect and with care. They spoke to her family after the surgery was done and ensured that they understood how to change the bandages appropriately.
Olga, 18 years old now has a chance at life. Her new born baby boy Manuelo is still squirming by her side and her family is ever so thankful for these doctors selfless work.