On April 1, I presented a two-patient hyperbaric oxygen treatment system to Arturo Villanueva, director of the General Hospital, and Manuel Gomez, treasurer of its patronage. Bill Horn accompanied me as my host and translator. Dr. Dario Gomez of DAN and the hospital's hyperbaric technician, Gabriel, were also at the event, which was well-covered by local TV, radio and newspapers. As I'd hoped, the reports gave credit for this gift to both vacationers and Americans residing in Coz.
The gift was received with much excitement. Dr. Villanueva reiterated his promise to treat the infant Gibran at no charge as his case initiated this benefit. He further explained that the chamber is in constant use to treat fisherman, firemen, diabetic patients and others and our donation will allow them to treat an additional four patients each day. Dario Gomez described the potential benefits of hyperbaric oxygen for patients with cerebral palsy and other brain disorders.
Senor Manuel Gomez told me that the hospital is hosting an international conference on hyperbaric medicine in May and may now include its experience with infants and other hood patients -- granted that experience will be somewhat limited -- and they will definitely show the attendees this equipment!
I also spent some time with the baby. He looks very good, has a hearty appetite and is very playful. But he has severe problems moving his right arm and right leg and he has some facial paralysis. The family says that these issues have improved since the hyperbaric treatments began and they are optimistic about continuing treatment. His doctors now say that Gibran will need another five months of treatment, so our decision to fund the equipment instead of donating funds to pay medical bills was very wise.
The final cost for the equipment, including freight from California, was approximately $2550. We raised almost $1700 and I am still working to raise the balance.
We provided a wonderful service for the people of Cozumel. Thank you all for your participation.
Deb in NY
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