We just received a wonderful picture at the CRF office of Mayra Valladares with her right arm in a cast. Yep, we are celebrating her arm in a cast because of what it represents to her. It represents the ability to work, care for her children, and to have a little dignity returned to her.
You may remember that I wrote about Mayra after my trip to Honduras in April. She is the unfortunate woman who was hit by a car as she walked home on the side of the road. She was badly hurt and barely survived. When I met her, she was back to normal… except for her arm.
For some reason, the doctors at the hospital failed to see that her arm was backwards in her shoulder socket. So as she healed, the arm was literally 180 degrees off. Her right elbow pointed forward instead of backwards and made her right arm useless. Her hand was now behind her. In the barrios of Tegucigalpa a person needs both hands to get work done.
Mayra had come to a gathering of CRF sponsored children to thank us for sponsoring her son. Our program administrator in Tegucigalpa, Adela Moncada took Milton and I aside and asked if there was something we could do to help her. After questioning her, we discovered that for $250 the hospital would fix her arm. I wasn’t sure that was right, so we did the math again, to be sure. That was basically the cost of supplies and the room at the hospital. The hospital wasn’t going to charge for the surgery. My first inclination was to use that money to hire a lawyer! But we prayed for Mayra, and decided we would help. I took this picture to send to a few doctors we knew that might want to help. $250 didn’t sound like too much, but this is outside of our normal child sponsorship programs.
When we returned to the US, we sent the picture around. Before we got any donations, we decided not to wait to send money for Mayra’s operation. We wired the money knowing that it would come back to us. Our donors trust us to use the money they send us wisely, and this was a no-brainer.
So this is why we are celebrating seeing a picture of a woman in a cast! Mayra had the surgery, and her arm is now in its right place. Our prayer is for full recovery and use of her right arm. In the US, we spend so much on cosmetic surgery to look younger, thinner, and augmented. We aren’t satisfied with how we look, or how we’ve aged. We don’t like how nature treats us, so we change it. We spend money on elective surgery to change something we don’t like. I think that the surgery we provided Mayra is the right kind of cosmetic surgery. It is accomplishing something good. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the money we spent in the United States for cosmetic surgery was used in this way instead? We would have treasure in heaven, and the thanks from a million people like Mayra.
Here’s the lesson I take from her. She didn’t come to see us to ask for help, she felt blessed to be alive. She came to thank us for sponsoring her son so he could go to school and so that her family would have a little more food to eat. She was prepared to live the rest of her life struggling with her arm that way. Why can’t I feel blessed or be satisfied with the imperfections of my physical self? I needed a trip to Honduras to learn this lesson. I cry tears of joy to see Mayra’s arm fixed.
If you feel moved, please send us a donation to help in medical emergencies like these. We would love to have a fund ready to respond whenever we see someone in need.