Meet Teofilia & the Tiquipaya Team

Blog Author: Kira Dr. Garrett & Dr. Pitta during their patient consultation with Teofilia

Dr. Garrett, Dr. Pitta, & Bolivian Partners during Teofilia's surgery

Over the 13 years that Solidarity Bridge has been working in Bolivia, we have seen the need for our services grow. As a result, we are serving multiple sites during this trip. Those heading up our efforts in one site, Tiquipaya, a suburb of Cochabamba, include Gay Garrett (General Surgeon), Gabe Pitta (Anesthesiologist), Katie Kirchgessner (recovery nurse) and Natalie Rodriguez (translator).

One of their patients, Teofilia, came in complaining of pain in her back, neck and abdomen. Because of this pain, it was no longer possible to sleep on her back and sleep in general was difficult. After speaking with our doctors, she was told that she had a lipoma which was causing the back and neck issues as well as gallstones and inflammation that necessitated the removal of her gallbladder.

Understandably, Teofilia was nervous about undergoing surgery. Thankfully, the reassuring presence and confidence of our team went a long way towards providing comfort to her and her son.

Dr. Pitta, his patient Teofilia, and her son

Teofilia´s procedure went very well. Dr. Gay Garrett was able to remove the painful lipoma and did a laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder, despite an exceptionally large gallstone. As a result, both scarring and healing time are minimized. She woke up from her surgery and immediately started crying in joy when she realized her pain was gone. After only one night in the hospital, she was well enough to go home. As she left, she repeated again and again, "Thank you! Thank you! I could never have paid for this myself."