A Teenage Girl’s Wish to Fit In

August 5, 2016

a surgical story in pictures

Meet Wendy, a sweet and shy teenager from Honduras. She loves to spend time doing what most 16-year-olds anywhere in the world love to do – hang out with her friends. However, Wendy has a problem. She had a hard time catching her breath while speaking, which has a damaging effect on her self-esteem and ability to fit in with her peers. We met Wendy in Sula, Honduras when she came to visit IRT’s surgical team in search of a solution.

Every year, IRT sends its ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgical team for one week to the small, impoverished town of Sula. Here, most families work as subsistence farmers and they lack access to health care and medicine. In a country where 50% of the rural population live in extreme poverty, costs of surgery are either out of reach, or surgeons are not available. IRT’s surgical team is often the only opportunity for residents to receive life-changing, necessary ENT surgeries.

IRT’s surgeon, Dr. Glen Yoshida, examined Wendy and confirmed she had a large nasal polyp that was affecting her breathing and she needed surgery to remove it. In this photo, IRT’s anesthesiologist, Dr. Dhamija examined Wendy the day before her surgery.

The next day, Wendy was very nervous while waiting for surgery, but she felt fortunate to have her mother and boyfriend there to support her.

Wendy and a hospital staff member, Luis says a prayer together before the surgery, helping to put Wendy’s nerves at ease.

After a successful surgery, Wendy’s mom and boyfriend sat by her bedside to comfort her when she woke up from the anesthesia.

The day after surgery, Wendy said she could already breathe better. Although still in pain, she felt an immense sense of relief that her life would soon return to normal. She is incredibly grateful to IRT’s volunteer team for changing her life!

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