Inspired by his father’s death, Guatemala’s Pedro Sosof became a nurse.

By Amanda Paniagua, Shipments Manager, MedShare

Pedro Sosof, LPN

“When I was 17 my father passed away.  He had a brain hemorrhage.  We took him to the National Hospital but they didn’t do anything to help him.  That is what made me want to become a nurse.”  –Pedro Sosof, LPN

Pedro Sosof is a 26 year old indigenous Tz´tujil Mayan from Santiago Atitlan who has been practicing nursing at Hospitalito Atitlan for five years.  The fifth child of eight born to a fisherman father and housewife mother, he grew up poor. Thanks to a level head and a lot of dedication and hard work, however, Pedro was able to put himself through nursing school by working part-time selling artisan crafts.  He is now a respected clinician with a flair for emergency and surgical care.

Hospitalito Atitlan

The Hospitalito is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan in the highlands of Guatemala, and serves a population of about 43,000 indingenous Mayan, many of whom speak no or very limited Spanish.  Pedro and the other nurses and some medical staff speak Tz´tutjil and translate it into Spanish for the rest.  MedShare shipped a container of medical supplies and equipment here about a year ago, and since then Pedro and the other nursing and medical staff have used the items to save lives and improve health and wellness in this remote region.  A second MedShare container is in the early fundraising stage and will likely ship later this year.

I think understand what he means when he says ¨they didn´t do anything¨ for his father at the National Hospital before he passed away.  It´s not that the doctors and nurses didn’t want to help Pedro´s father eight years ago; more likely, due to a lack of trained medical personnel, medications, supplies, equipment, and funding and other necessary resources, they just couldn’t.

The National Hospital in Solola doesn’t have a working ventilator.  The Antigua National Hospital lacks basic equipment like stethoscopes and pulse oximeters for their newborn nursery and pediatric ICU.   Critical cases have to be referred to Guatemala City, where there may be more advanced equipment available, but not all patients can survive the journey.

Pregnant patient with a kidney infection

In contract, Hospitalito Atitlan is well-equipped in both staff and supplies, thanks to donations received from MedShare and other international foundations and NGOs.  Today I watched as Pedro rushed to grab a speculum and gauze from a fully-stocked supply closet when a young pregnant Tz´tutujil woman came into the emergency room with vaginal bleeding.  Her pregnancy was lost, but her life was saved.  Later in the day I witnessed a young Mayan woman in her third trimester with a dangerous kindey infection receive stat antibiotics via IV, saving her life and that of her baby.  Two years ago her term baby was stillborn, delivered at home by a local midwife.  The Hospitalito doctors suspect a similar kidney infection was the cause of death; thankfully this time she is getting the care she needs.  More donated eqiupment and supplies are still desperately needed here, but all in all, this small Guatemalan Hospital is producing more success stories than one ever could have imagined.

¨I do this job to help my people,¨ Pedro told me. ¨Even though sometimes it is hard, I keep going, because I feel like I´m doing something good for my people¨


This Mother’s Day, Honor Your Mom by Supporting MedShare

A MedShare-supported mother and daughter in Ecuador

Your mother provided care to you as a child. She made sure your scraped knee was bandaged and kissed, your broken arm was casted, and your cold was treated. What more meaningful way is there to thank her than to pass on the gift of accessible care to those in need?

By sending Boxes of Hope, you’ll be giving mothers around the world the ability to care for their children. Many hospitals lack basic supplies, meaning things like bandages and casting material aren’t available. These boxes will give the greatest gift of all: hope.

Boxes of Hope contain vitally needed items like syringes, sterile gloves and gowns, hospital beds and mattresses, stethoscopes, fetal monitors, nebulizers, surgical kits, and assorted medical supplies. Your support will help us by providing these otherwise-scarce items to benefit the poor in developing countries. A box of medical supplies – which you can sponsor in quantities of two to 1,000 – will give hope to mothers worldwide.

For……..instead of…………give

$40 – flowers – two Boxes of Hope

$80 – massage – four Boxes of Hope

$100 – gift certificate to restaurant – five Boxes of Hope

$250 – jewelry – 12 Boxes of Hope (1 Quarter Pallet)

Take the case of a young man in the Dominican Republic. This 20-year old had a motorcycle accident that resulted in an open fracture. Unable to get treatment, his fracture remained open for one whole year. His mother did her best to provide care, but lacked supplies and money for treatment. Instead, she resorted to an old remedy of applying a mixture of raw sugar and iodine to his wound to prevent infection. She did this for the whole year. When MedShare supplies arrived on the scene, this young man’s fracture was healed. Imagine what a difference Boxes of Hope would have made in the life of this young man and his mother, and how your donation will change the lives of others.

Donate here.