Mirna DG is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Saray Malmaceda.
My name is Mirna Dominguez Gonzales. I am a third-year Pathology resident from Ricardo Palma University, based at Rebagliati Hospital in Lima, Peru. I came to Houston for a 3-month observership in the Department of Hematopathology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. My goal was to be trained by highly regarded pathologists, whom I immediately learned to admire. Right after I started my rotation I realized that I wanted to become one of them: a teacher, a pathologist, a researcher. I had been so thrilled to observe first-hand how they work, how they mentor residents and fellows, and how they interact with clinicians. I had also the fortune to be mentored by one expert in Hematopathology Department. After 2 months in the USA I was feeling so happy and proud of my learning progress. I was improving my communication skills in English and also gaining new friends! I was feeling a personal accomplishment all while working on a lecture on pathogenic mechanisms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and composing a case report of melanoma. Quickly, I was getting used to the long days, working and observing, even coming to study during weekends. This was a dream I was planning to continue back at Rebagliati hospital: teaching and motivating my junior residents and becoming a better pathologist. In order to come to Houston I put my savings to good use and paid for the trip and accommodations. I shared a room with a former pathology resident from Peru, now on her own post-doctoral training at MD Anderson. All this changed the night of Wednesday, November 29th, while returning home after a 30-minute bus ride from MD Anderson. I was told I was hit by a truck that I did not see while crossing the street. The tremendous impact left me unconscious, with multiple and severe fractures, and internal organs damage. I was lucky to be immediately brought to the emergency room where I was resuscitated after massive bleeding. I spent three days in the ICU. I am fortunate to have survived, while my family and relatives only can invoke a miracle and God that saved my life. I am aware that I was saved by the opportune intervention of the Houston Fire Department that transported me to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston that boasts one of the most skilled trauma teams in Houston. I survived 6 major surgeries within 6 days; having had major reconstruction with external fixators of the pelvis, reconstruction of multiple facial, orbital and ankle fractures. I am grateful of being alive, and I could not thank more all people who helped me thus far. I have received innumerable favors and care from the community in Houston, from women of different Churches and from people I never met before. I believe that is the biggest miracle in the middle of my tragedy. Doctors have told me that because of my youth, I should be able to recover with adequate rehabilitation in about 1 year. However, they also advised that I have to stay in Houston for at least 3 months to start rehabilitation and be able to sit and then go back to Peru. My mother and my sister came from Chiclayo, Peru to stay with me and support on my recovery. Then, I will plan to go back to Peru to continue with my recovery, that I expect to finalize my residency training in Lima, followed by a fellowship in tumor pathology in Lima. This is my story. This has changed the course of my life. From an independent physician in training, I am now prostrated in bed, and need assistance every day. I hope you understand my humble words in asking for your help. Any help is welcome and warmly appreciated. I will be grateful from your emotional or economic support. Medical bills are unbelievably expensive and any donation would help me and my parents, especially now that I am living in Houston in precarious conditions.