Honoria, age 68, speaks Quechua, so our local staff member, Ariel, interpreted to Spanish for our visit. Honoria raised seven children in a remote part of the state with no accessible schools. Her children now work as day laborers or housekeepers to support their own families and contribute a small amount each month to Honoraria for food. Honoraria told us how much she dislikes being dependent on her children. Once she recovers her health, she looks forward to getting back to supporting herself by selling products she buys in the wholesale markets on the streets of Santa Cruz.
Honoria’s youngest son built the room seen here for his mother. The wooden structure on the right serves as her kitchen. The property has water hook-up, and they are saving to eventually build a bathroom.
Honoria 2 Days Post-Op & Dr. Wu
We visited Honoria in her home the day before her surgery. This photo was taken two days later, the morning after her implant. Implant patients spend one night in the hospital, and return a week later for follow-up. They then receive instructions regarding the pacemaker monitoring schedule, which requires them to return to the Solidarity Bridge pacemaker clinic at least once a year for the rest of their lives.
Roberta and Family
At the home of Roberta, her large family was grateful for our visit, which allowed them to ask numerous questions about their mother’s implant and care. Roberta was especially relieved to know she would be able to return to the fields to tend to her cows, which she has been too breathless to do for the past year.
Puente De Solidaridad Social Worker, Carmen
In addition to gathering the standard socioeconomic data compiled for all Solidarity Bridge patients, our social worker Carmen carried out an additional interview as part of a five-year pacemaker follow-up study currently underway in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
We also traveled to the home of Fidelina, whose three sons showed us their tire shop located in the front of the home. Fidelina had received her implant the day before, and was still recovering in the hospital.
Francisca, 55, is a skilled hat maker. In addition to raising five children on her own, she takes care of her ailing 78-year-old mother. Francisca is also deaf and mute, which added some concerns during her implant due to her inability to use her hands to sign during the procedure. Patients are generally awake during a pacemaker implant, and can tell the doctor if they are uncomfortable. In this case, we relied on Francisca’s facial expressions to know she was OK.