From Faith In Practice Mission: Mariam’s and Jorge’s Story

I need to make a confession. I think I left my heart in Guatemala…

Jorge hears for the firs time

Jorge hears for the firs time

On my trip to Guatemala, I was roomed with an audiology doctor Gerald Greenstein from Jamestown, NY. Jerry, as every one calls him, is a great person and we enjoyed a few Gallo’s together during the very few free moments we had during the trip. But what he did during the village clinic days was truly amazing.
Jorge and his mom, shortly after saying "Hola" to her for the first time.

Jorge and his mom, shortly after saying “Hola” to her for the first time.

Jerry would test the hearing of the patients referred to him by the triage team and sometime other doctors. If the patients qualified to be fitted with a hearing aid, he would do so.

What so special about that? Well, imagine a fifteen year old girl or boy who, due to meningitis or some other causes, looses hearing when she or he are just 3 months old. In Guatemala children like that often sentenced to a life without being able to hear and talk. They struggle in school and rarely can realize their full potential. Unless of course they meet some one like Jerry.

On our trip there were two such teenagers- Jorge and Mariam. The picture above was taken shortly after Jorge was fitted with a hearing aid, and after short practice round with Jerry for the first time in his life said “¡Hola” to his mom.

I the video bellow you can see the Dr. Greenstein fitting Mariam with the hearing aid. I think you will agree there is very little need for commentary.

Prior to being seen by Jerry, Mariam was examined by Dr. Mark Heoplinger, who thought that the girl might qualify to be fitted with a hearing aid. In the picture bellow you can see Dr. Mark Hoeplinger and Mariam together:

Dr. Hoeplinger and Mariam

Dr. Hoeplinger and Mariam

The stories like these is the reason why I left my heart in Guatemala. If you were there with me, would leave your hear behind as well.

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