Dedication to family

Choosing to attend or participate in a mission trip can come with a variety of mixed emotions and unknowns, especially for someone like myself attending their first mission trip in the role of a medical provider.

All of the mixed emotions disappear the minute that you begin working with such incredible people. My first patient of the day on our second day of clinic was a 10 month old girl believed to have down syndrome. The mother was unsure if the diagnosis was accurate and of what it could mean for the rest of the patient’s life. We discussed the characteristics that confirmed the patient’s diagnosis and then spent time discussing common delays in development, as well as some of the potential health risks. We also discussed the massive potential for lifelong success for this child with her mother’s love and support.

The mother was so dedicated to her daughter that she was prepared to complete stretches, exercises, and attend multiple follow up appointments with local specialists that would involve much planning on her part.

The thing that stands out the most to me about this country is how inspiring these families can be. One parent is willing to walk two hours carrying her toddler in order to be seen at our clinic, while other families sacrifice so much to provide much needed long term care to their child despite the cost. The people of El Salvador invest a big part of themselves in their community and in their family, both immediate and extended.

Dustin Bogan, Physician Assistant