We have arrived in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay - two of us, instead of the 7 who were to come. Our medical team of doctors and pacemaker specialists decided not to come with us due to the outbreak of Dengue Fever in Paraguay. It was a difficult decision for them, but they did not want to risk getting Dengue.
Unfortunately, Dengue Fever is a real problem in Paraguay right now. It is a nasty sickness caused by a virus carried by mosquitoes. If you are not careful and don't use insect protection, you can catch it and it can be a very difficult illness.
The team has shrunk to just two - myself and our photographer and major donor, Sue Rhomberg. If we chose not to go, many people would suffer and others would die without our help. So instead we'll be slathering on the repellent, avoiding tromping through swamps, and doing all we can to help Paraguayans in need of pacemakers. We'll be bringing over 40 pacemakers, the machines to program them and a lot of surgical supplies that the team collected for the trip. Although our medical team did not come, Dr. Javier will launch our Pacemaker Program in Paraguay. He will work his tail off and do as many cases as he can and leave the others for later. Our primary goal is in sight. We will help them setup the program and local doctors will continue the work once we leave. Another post on Monday night.