Recently, Esperança had surgical patient, Margarita Quezada from Nicaragua, visit the United States for a special surgery that would transform her life. Dr. Diane Sklar, a GYN surgeon who has volunteered with Esperança’s Volunteer Surgery Program for 8 missions, completed a surgical mission to Nicaragua in 2012 and met this particular patient for a consultation. She learned Margarita had previously suffered from a massive fibroid in her uterus for 7 years! She had surgery to remove the fibroid but because of the damage that the fibroid had caused she still was experiencing complications. Despite several operations, doctors were unable to repair the damage that the fibroid had caused. Dr. Sklar recommended that she come to the United States for the final procedure to repair her condition. Through your support, and the efforts of Dr. Sklar and Kaiser Permanente, the pro bono operation was scheduled. Esperança was able to arrange a medical visa for the operation, and Margarita’s life was going to be changed forever!
The fateful day arrived, and Margarita was on a flight to San Francisco in good spirits. The introduction to a major city like San Francisco was an eye opening experience for Margarita. Coming from the small village of San Rafael del Norte, she had never been to a city of this magnitude, let alone outside of her country. But, after many years of enduring debilitating health issues and several unsuccessful medical procedures in Nicaragua, she was prepared to face any challenge knowing that Esperança’s supporters were thinking of her. When Esperança first spoke about the possibility of creating this opportunity, she said that with her faith she knew that the doors would open and make it happen. Six months later, her faith was rewarded.
The first day in San Francisco was a flurry of doctor appointments and exams. The appointments passed with no complications or issues, and the next few days were spent exploring the city. The sights included the beach, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and just exploring all that the city has to offer.
The night before surgery Margarita was nervous, but her commitment to transform her life allowed her to be at peace. She passed the time making a stack of homemade corn tortillas for her post-surgery meal. That night she slept well, and in the morning she packed a small bag of clothes and the essentials she would need for her stay at the hospital.
Margarita was calm as she headed to the hospital, and lightened the mood by making jokes about finding a husband in San Francisco. The Kaiser staff was prepped and ready for her, and she quickly moved from registration to preparation for surgery. She started to get a little nervous but calmed herself by quietly praying, and she remembered that Esperança volunteers and donors had been working together for the past six months to give her hope.
Her surgery took about five hours, Kaiser staff and Esperança staff waiting eagerly to hear the news. Was it successful? Is she okay? Five hours later, her surgery was complete, and Margarita’s long journey was rewarded. Her complications were a thing of the past and she was presented with a bouquet of flowers and smiling faces. Despite being in some pain and a little groggy, she asked, “Are these for me?” and held the flowers in her arms and returned a smile.
After two weeks of recovery, Margarita was able to return to her hometown 100% healed! Thank you to Dr. Diane Sklar, Dr. Robert Karoukian, Dr. Arturo Martinez and the Kaiser staff for transforming a life. What an incredible gift. Thank you everyone for your support, which allowed this amazing journey to become a reality!