In an earlier post this month, Audiologist Melissa Lowe from St. Louis, Missouri, shared with us her mission trip to Hospital Santo Hermano Pedro located in Catacamas, Honduros. Today we continue her story of helping the Honduran people.
For the ENT physicians, residents, and medical students, the first two days are typically spent figuring out who gets surgery (tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, thyroidectomy, stapedectomy, cyst removal, etc.). For Audiology, those first days are typically the busiest since we have our own patients, as well as patients who are referred for hearing tests. Furthermore, most people try to arrive early in the week since they understand there is a limited amount of hearing aids.
The task of getting hearing aids donated is the most difficult for the audiologist to accomplish. Obviously, the more aids you can take with you, the more people you are able to help. This year, ReSound came through with a generous donation of hearing aids. They donated an unprecedented number which no audiologist had come close to before. In four days, I saw approximately 57 people and fit 32 hearing aids, a record setting number! Without the overwhelming generosity of ReSound, this trip would not have been such a success.
The week rounded out with a trip to a convent in order to provide services for a group of cloistered nuns, who due to their devout vocation are unable to leave the house where they live. The sisters were extremely grateful and were unbelievably happy with their new hearing aids. They sent many blessings home with me and the entire group.
The last day was one of the most emotional throughout the trip. The group passed out toys along the road from where we stayed. Children would come running towards the bus as we handed out hats and stuffed animals, all eager to get just one toy. We also visited children at an orphanage, bringing them new clothes. Each child was so gracious and polite, running to take your hand and show you around, hugging you, wanting to play games.
The reality of all those in need was heart wrenching. Nevertheless, I was able to leave Honduras knowing that I made a difference.