During the past month, site staff at Project Alajuelita had the incredible experience of being a part of the healing process of a forty four year old patient named Rigoberto Duarte Obando. This past January, Rigo suffered severe burns from an electrical fire leaving him hospitalized for fifteen days. These burns covered his entire back and even continued down one of his arms and across one thigh. Due to the fact that he seeks refuge in Costa Rica from Nicaragua, he cannot obtain medical insurance. Therefore, without access to the health care FIMRC provides, his burns would have never continued to receive the necessary treatment in order to heal.
The first day we met Rigo after being released from the hospital, his condition was serious. His skin was not healing because he was not receiving any treatment, leaving open wounds across his body that were at an extremely high risk of infection. After assessing his situation staff decided it was necessary to provide care to the burns immediately. The FIMRC clinic, however, is a primary care clinic and is not well equipped to provide this type of service. Armed with only one bag of saline to help clean the wound, along with gauze and soap, we washed and treated his burns and provided him with the proper materials to be able continue to healing at home.
Amazingly, after only one week, FIMRC staff and Rigo's family were able to breathe a happy sigh of relief as the burns were healing significantly well- even beyond expectation! Both his strength and his gratefulness for what we were able to do for him touched all of us. Though the burn care we provided was not perfect it was life saving, and we were all filled with joy because of this fact. It is always a pleasure to see him and his family as he continues to come regularly to the clinic. His story is a testament to the resilience of the human body and the life-changing power of quality health care.