In February, our health care provider, Flory got these 4 patients with tumors into Obras Sociales, the hospital for the poor in Antigua that we use, for labs and other tests. They were then referred to the National Cancer hospital for surgery. And then along came Covid and cancelled all hope of surgery at that time (March).
In August, some private Guatemalan doctors were saying they were ready to operate again. So Flory started getting in touch with her contacts. A wonderful oncologist who has helped us out before, said he would take our 4 cases and do them on weekends in September, at a very reduced rate, more or less as charity cases for him.
A worried 58 year-old woman, Dona Guiyermina, came to our clinic in January of 2020. She has a special needs daughter in her 20’s that can’t walk and is in a wheelchair and an elderly husband who also needs her care. The problem was a large mass on one of her breasts that was growing and causing her pain. She was afraid she had cancer, would die and her family would be left alone and helpless.
- OUTCOME: Mass and lymph node removed, benign, full recovery predicted
- COST: $2,360
Dona Jilma, 51 years-old, also had a huge mass on her breast that was causing her much pain and interfering with her ability to work.
- OUTCOME: A mass the size of the surgeon’s hand was removed, benign, full recovery predicted.
- COST: $2,140
Dona Rosa is 39 years-old, single and the sole support of her elderly parents. She had excruciating hip and leg pain and could hardly walk. It was discovered she had a large mass on her ovary and uterus. This became so debilitating that she had to quit her cleaning job. She was extremely frightened at the thought of surgery and almost decided against it.
- OUTCOME: One ovary removed, a small mass was removed from her uterus and the other ovary, all benign, full recovery predicted.
- COST $2,090
Dona Olga, the last of these referrals is a 49 year-old woman who had masses on both the back and front of her neck. She too has a family she has to care for and help support. By the week of the surgery the tumors were pressing on her throat and she could hardly breathe. She could also only swallow tiny sips of liquid.
- OUTCOME Her surgery lasted 7 hours and there was a neck specialist assisting the oncologist. Part of her thyroid gland was also removed. The biopsy reported a contained cancer, so she will take a pill every day for 5 years, and the surgeon is very optimistic.
- COST: $4,250