Gustivino is a 14 year-old Ngäbe indigenous boy for whom every day of life is victory. He lives in a remote mountain community in extreme poverty and in a home accessible only by miles of mud covered jungle trails. On our first visit to his remote community, he presented to us plagued by Tuberculosis and with a heart damaged by the effects of Rheumatic Fever and visibly hammering through his chest as it struggled to provide enough circulation for him to stay alive. Gustivino’s will to survive and his family’s love were the only things keeping him going and as his adolescent body started to grow faster his ailing heart was a ticking time bomb. His life span could be estimated in months, with no hope for more- Until Floating Doctors arrived…..
Gustivino’s fight for life is an unfortunate story that is told and retold in the case histories of our patients who live in La Sabana. This isolated community of roughly 300 indigenous Ngäbe people is a demanding five-hour hike from the nearest road in a high mountain jungle. During the rainy season the trails become rivers of mud that make them impassable without high-tech gear. La Sabana’s isolation and limited access to any public medical services result in a wide variety of advanced diseases and conditions affecting the population.
When Floating Doctors first visited La Sabana in November of 2011, many of the villagers had never been seen by a doctor. There was a 5% infant mortality rate. Over two years we have made 13 visits, several emergency interventions, and the infant mortality rate has dropped to ZERO. Additionally, nearly every person in the community has been attended by one of our dedicated volunteer doctors. All pregnant women have been given prenatal care and vitamins, and the population has been regularly treated for parasites.
BUT the need is still great in La Sabana. Trauma, parasites, childhood illnesses, accidents, chronic disease, and no access to pre-natal care put the lives of our friends in La Sabana at real risk.
FLOATING DOCTORS WANTS TO GIVE LA SABANA WEEKLY ACCESS TO CARE!!!
For only $850 per month the community of La Sabana will have weekly access to Floating Doctors medical care providers, maternal services, patient transport services, and emergency extractions.
Please help us to bring a year’s worth of health to this remote community.
Donate monthly today and be one of the hands that help to keep us afloat!