Dr. Brody's letter to the team:
I hope everyone is close to ready. I'm the first to admit that I am far from it.
I want to remind everyone, more than ever, that we are entering a third world country where health care is VERY different than the organized care that our industrial society has created in the States. I say this because most of you are not aware that despite our plans for months to travel to Nicaragua and provide surgical care, that we have not been able to organize and schedule any gynecologic surgeries to date. I am told that there is a local general surgeon who is planning to bring general surgery patients to the clinic starting on Monday, but getting any additional details beyond this has been futile. So I have been walking a path of complete and utter faith that everything will somehow work out. If you want to ask me how many patients we will be treating, the answer is, "I have no idea. I guess however many show up."
This week, Valishia and I met with out pastor and I enlightened him as to the progress, dilemma and my frustration over the situation. Many hours, dollars and time away from family have been donated toward this cause by you and all our supporters and I am acutely aware of this. Pastor Mark was leaving town after that, but said he would send an email to Bob Trolese, the original missionary and founder of the Verbo Church in Nicaragua to see if there was anything they could do, even as we were approaching the final days before our departure.
Unbeknownst to me, Mark's email to Bob started a ripple effect in Nicaragua. Today, I received four emails in a matter of one hour from various people in Nicaragua, all in need of our services!! They brought me to tears. I am going to forward each of these to all of you because to me, they epitomize the very reason we are needed there! Please read them. They will give you an idea of who these people that need our help in Nicaragua are.
Life is ever changing, and we must remain flexible enough to adapt. I'm so excited to see how we can all come together as a team, even in the final hours and on the fly, to provide medical care to those in need. And even if we travel 5,000 miles to treat only one person, remember when you ask yourself, "Was it really worth it?", that it was really worth it to that one!
Your team leader,
Response #1:We have many women (420) at House of Hope coming out of prostitution who have many Gyn problems. Many of them have requested help from us to do tubal ligations. We are telling them to go to El Sam on Monday but we do not have funding for their prescriptions if they need it after surgery. Will this team provide prescriptions? If not, our ladies cannot participate and will be wasting the bus fare and the day of work they they will miss by going to the screening day on Monday. If they do not work one day (scrubbing clothes, etc), their kids do not eat the next day, so this is no light thing for them.
Wish we would have had more notice to figure this out but will try our best to get some women there.
Director, House of Hope
Dr. Brody's reply:
I received your email from Marie and hope that I may be able to help. I would love to be able to perform tubal ligations on women from House of Hope. I wish we had somehow connected earlier. Nevertheless, it is not too late! I would be happy to see the women in the clinic on Monday to evaluate them for the sterilization procedure.
I would like our team to be able to help these women in this endeavor. If they were to miss work to come to the clinic for evaluation on Monday and then surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday, how much income would they be losing? What is the income for one woman for three or four days of work? Maybe we can help cover those costs, so please let me know.
Christine Brody MD
I am an American missionary with my family working in the far northeast of Nicaragua. I received notice of your upcoming trip to Nicaragua specializing in Gyn surgeries.
I am sorry, but I do not have anyone currently that I can recommend to come from my area for your specialty. However, I am currently in need of a Gyn service and am wondering if you would be able to see me. I had a Mirena IUD placed 4 1/2 years ago. After my last exam a year ago, the nurse was unable to find the strings from the IUD. A follow-up ultrasound shows the IUD is still there and working, so I have left it as is. Now the time is coming for when I have to get it removed. From my research, it looks like it might be a little difficult. Is this something that you could do for me? Are you willing to do this or would you prefer to concentrate on Nicraraguan women?
Dr. Brody's reply:
Yes, I could remove your IUD. If the strings are not visible, it may be possible for me to remove it under ultrasound guidance in the clinic. It's a bit uncomfortable (crampy) but usually only takes a minute if it's possible to do. Otherwise, I could do it under light anesthesia in the operating room using my hysteroscope (a small telescope).
Hope this might work out for you.
God bless you.
Christine Brody MD
I received word about the gynecologists coming through the ICF listserv. (...) Is the team that is coming just doing surgeries, or are they doing general exams as well? I am working with a children's home and we have a few girls that have been sexually abused, or may have been, and we're looking to find a gynecologist to check them out. So I wasn't sure if this is something that they will be able to do, or if it will just be surgeries.
Thanks so much.
Dr. Brody's reply:
I will have a nurse practioner who specializes in women's health with me. The mission trip is mostly surgical, but I believe she will be able to see patients in the clinic. We aren't offering general exams, but if you have a few girls that you are concerned about, maybe we could see them in the El Samaritano clinic on Wednesday. (...)
Please let me know.
Christine Brody MD
Hi Dr. Brody,
I am a missionary in Nicaragua with the Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International (BMDMI). One of my responsibilities with BMDMI is helping with a program called "Project Life." I just received an email regarding your trip this coming week at the Samaritan Clinic. Our mission hopes to send some patients your way!!
I looked up your website and watched your video and am very interested in learning more information about you guys!
Our mission sends medical teams throughout the year to various communities in Nicaragua. We do cervical screenings as well and provide cryotherapy as needed. Also, through these screenings as well as through the medical clinic, we often come across patients regarding different types of surgeries. For this, we have a program called Project Life, which allows for a more serious patient to receive further treatment/surgery, typically through a private hospital. In the past, we've had patients who required surgeries such as hysterectomies, hernia repair, cleft palate repair, cataract removal, and the list goes on. Normally, team members raise the funds to have a surgery done on a specific patient, which oftentimes is very pricey when going through a private hospital. If there was any way we could have our Project Life patients receive treatment in a more economical way, we would be very happy. For this reason, I would like to know what you and your team do and how you work.
Again, it was great hearing about your ministry! (...) I look forward to hearing from you soon!