Saturday, January 17, 2009

Car Accidents, Trains Cutting Off Legs, Polio, Old Age, Strokes, Etc.

I just arrived in Choluteca after a long day! After leaving Tegucigalpa this morning early, (read the previous blog) I went to San Lorenzo, loaded the truck and then on to Goascoran. I left Goascoran and raced to San Lorenzo again for another wheelchair giveaway. There was no time to eat breakfast or lunch and I am famished! I have nursed several bottles of water today and I ingested an orange hastily, which a patient’s family member donated to my hungry cause. I vaguely remember someone handing me some homemade french-fries, I guess I ate them, I don’t remember.

Anyway, this afternoon was even wilder than this morning! I was supposed to arrive in San Lorenzo at sometime before 2:00 pm but it just didn’t happen. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get out of Goascoran and to San Lorenzo in time. Each patient wanted to hug me and tell me thanks for their new “CARRITOS”. They started calling them that because they have brakes and tires!

When I arrived in San Lorenzo, the patients were waiting for their new wheelchairs and it looked like there was carnival going on at SHADDI FARMICIA. Everyone was with their respective family member and they were sitting on the sidewalk drinking cokes and eating “CHURROS” (chips).

The owner of SHADDI PHARMACY is also a pastor and he and his wife are both doctors. They are friends and agreed to have the wheelchair giveaway at their pharmacy on the PAN AMERICAN HIGHWAY. You couldn’t ask for better publicity. They filled the parking lot with wheelchairs and the people began arriving as did the press! Three television channels arrived and filmed the giveaway.

I think the best thing to do is show lots of photos and then share the end of the story. Scroll down, look at the photos and at the end I will share some more.

This lady was a squinter and a smiler. She loved being out of the house and able to see and talk to others.

Cindy was brought to us by her pastor. She attends Principe de Paz Church. (Prince of Peace) Cindy in the pink shirt informed me that she had been praying for a wheelchair. Well, God answered her prayers. Thank you Free Wheelchair Mission!

This young man is blind and cannot walk. He repeated over and over saying, “I am going to church to say thank you God for my new wheelchair.”
This man kept raising his hand and saying, “Hallelujah!” Every time I looked at him, he raised his arms and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

This young lady has a goal! She wants to finish the next two years of university where she can be a teacher. She asked me for a scholarship, which unfortunately I can't give to her, but I am never the less thrilled that she has a goal!

This woman lost her leg in an accident.

He lost his leg to diabetes.

This lady was so sweet, she always touched me when I walked by her.

Several women came in their nightgowns or their houserobes, but no one seemed to mind!

Several other ladies arrived in their Sunday best clothes!

This young man didn't stop smiling from the time he arrived! He smiled and smiled and smiled.

This man couldn't smile but his grandson sure is happy!

These patients were all smiles.

This lady arrived late and we stayed until well after dark putting together her new wheelchair. She was number 36. That's correct! We gave away 36 wheelchairs this afternoon!

This little old man was so cute that I took several photos of him. I love the hat and the homemade wooden cane.

This young man came with a friend and waited patiently until the end. He knew the other people were desperate and he knew we would take care of him.

Many patients had to be lifted into the chairs and are absolutely like wet dishrag limp. This lady was one of those. She had no movement at all in her legs.

Her back was shaped like an "S".

This lady had a bad hair day, but she was thrilled with her new wheelchair.

This young man received his new wheels and then left in style all smiles!

I met this woman begging at a local steak place in Choluteca several months ago and told her I would give her a wheelchair. She didn't believe me, but I called the owner of El Torito ("little bull") and asked him to bring her to San Lorenzo to pick up her chair.

Pastor Reynaldo to the left of the man in the green shirt and tan pants helped unload the container tirelessly the night the truck finally arrived with the wheelchairs. This man came from the "old folks home". He and three other friends were blessed with wheelchairs today.

This lady talked endlessly.

I am not sure that this lady ever broke a smile the entire afternoon. I thought about turning her upside down to take a picture.

Several children needed wheelchairs. Some even slept through the ceremony.

Several people arrived in leg casts. This woman was one of them, her neighbors brought her to receive her wheelchair.

This young man was in a motorcycle accident and both of his heels were crushed. His doctors have said at least a year before he can put any weight on his feet, I think it will be less, he is already talking about giving the wheelchair away when he finishes with it. With that attitude, healing will come quickly. He arrived in the car of the manager of the Christian television station, who offered us free advertising any time we need it.
There have been so many blessings today, I am overwhelmed. I only wish my parents and the rest of my family were here to join in the fun. Sarah and Jessica would both have loved this day!
Dr. Joel Garcia was so tired that he finally took a seat in one of the wheelchairs for a few minutes of rest.

Some soldiers from the 11th Brigade showed up and helped put together a wheelchair.

I tried to teach them how to put the wheelchair together, but they learned better from the men. I wonder why?

Jose Benavides clowning around with one of the patients. He had promised this man a wheelchair many months ago and was happy to finally be able to give it to him.

Group photos!

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