Under the leadership of Dr. Richard Moser and other top US neurosurgeons, we are raising the level of neurosurgery in Bolivia. Our mission teams have been the first to introduce several neurosurgical advancements in the country, while restoring quality of life to patients who had nowhere else to turn for treatment. Plans are also moving forward to form the first Epilepsy Center in Bolivia as well as an Institute for the Development of Neurosurgery.
Dr. Gueider Salas, Neurosurgeon
Dr. Salas is a preeminent young Bolivian neurosurgeon who has already had a long career leading the way in his field in his country. Soon after completing medical school and his specialization in neurosurgery, which included studies in Sucre and La Paz, Bolivia, Mexico City, Mexico, and Brussels, Belgium, Dr. Salas was introduced to Solidarity Bridge missioners participating in one of the first neurosurgery mission trips in Bolivia. Dr. Salas immediately recognized the opportunity opened by Solidarity Bridge to bring training in the latest surgical techniques to the country, and he has been instrumental in those efforts ever since.
Mariluz didn’t pay much attention to her frequent headaches until she began to lose vision in her left eye. Her local doctor could not offer a diagnosis, and her condition continued to worsen.
She began to suffer falls, her vision was reduced to shadows, and eventually the fear of suffering an accident made it impossible for her to leave her home. Mariluz was only thirty-eight, but she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. She could no longer complete household chores, and was increasingly dependent on her husband, a street merchant, for assistance. She could not care for her aging mother, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, and it hurt her to see her eldest son so concerned for her health.
Mariluz was finally diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland. The surgery she needed had not been performed in Bolivia until its recent introduction by a Solidarity Bridge Neurosurgery Mission team. Mariluz was put under the care of U.S. missioner Dr. Moser and Bolivian partner surgeons, Dr. Arteaga and Dr. Moreno, at the San Juan de Dios public hospital in Santa Cruz.
Following her surgery, Mariluz recovered her sight - and her life! She can once again care for her family, and she is most happy to return to her kitchen, where she can prepare meals without constant fear of cutting or burning herself. Best of all, she can see the faces of her loved ones and watch her children grow.