Brian warned us that Tuesday was going to be a busy day — controlled chaos as he put it. By the time we arrived at Hospital Galindo at around 7:30 a.m., we saw why: Hundreds of people were already lined up waiting for us and because we got in so late the evening before, we had to do all of our prep work first thing. Our medical and non-medical teams began opening boxes, setting up stations.
It was really interesting to see the different types of people who came to the hospital. Many wore clothes like we do in the States, including t-shirts with Mickey Mouse and Superman. But others wore traditional clothing they made themselves and the pieces were beautiful.
While taking information we found that some families traveled anywhere from two hours to 10 hours to get to the hospital. One family came from Chiapas, Mexico. Perhaps the most heart-breaking story (among many) was: The family of one boy planned to sell their truck to help pay for the surgery the child needed and was going to have done at another hospital. On the way to sell the truck, the family was attacked by a gang, who attempted to shoot the mother and child. The father got the two out of the way and was fatally shot in the head. The boy also was shot in the shoulder. They ultimately came to Hospital Galindo to get the surgery he needed and for free. The bullet in his shoulder remains. He is 2-years old.
The people here are gracious and friendly and are patient with my Spanish speaking. A smile goes a long way and I have lots of those to offer.