Augustine, 16, was working in the field with his father. He is a very helpful boy and likes to work in the fields.
Suddenly, without warning, masked men walked by and for no reason, shot Augustine in the leg, then kept walking and killed another man working further back in the field.
Augustine was in the public hospital and left laying in bed until he became septic and fell into a coma. He was left there for seven months. Then most of the flesh had to be cut away, because it was so infected. Some skin was cut from his other leg to create a skin graft to the infected leg. The bad results and massive infection was a result of bad care and poor surgery at the public hospital.
The surgeons extorted $1,100 from his parents, required to be paid in cash with no receipt. To get that much money, about five month's earnings, the parents had to sell a piece of land -- the only inheritance received from the mother's father.
Augustine received such bad medical care that there was serious infection that could not be conquered by antibiotics. A metal rod had been inserted but infection stemmed from that, as well. Some of the bone got infected and died and the screws had worked loose, and came out through the skin. It was awful and painful.
Augustine couldn't move about, and as of a few days ago, there seemed to be no hope other than amputation of his seriously-infected leg.
However, like a miracle, we came in contact with a visiting orthopedic surgical team from Canada, working at a private hospital. They did surgery for which the surgeons did not charge, removed some bone and used very specialized and expensive bone cement. Further surgery will be required, but we hope the next few months will provide some healing and that the infection will subside. We are very much hoping that the leg will heal sufficiently in the next six months, so that amputation will not be necessary.
Total of all medical care over the next year could exceed $10,000, but for now, we are seeking $5,000 to cover all the expenses incurred, medical care, antibiotics and other medicine and food for Augustine for the next six months.
We appreciate you and God bless you.
We are Hands of Hope Medical Mission, Guatemala. We started a medical clinic in 1999 in the middle of a group three small villages, consisting of very poor, rural, indigenous Mayan people. We are the main medical resource to a population of about 10,000. www.HandsofHope.org
- David Siess
- Tim Wussow