Saving Lives in Nicaragua
The International Medical Alliance is in need of more wheelchairs for next year's trip and, of course, they are always accepting money donations or, anything else you may have that can help their mission.
It's sometimes the little things we take for granted.
Even without health insurance - we have resources in the United States - that help us live life healthier and easier should be become sick or need help.
In other countries, that's not the case.
Something as simple as a wheelchair can change lives.
And its all thanks to the Rancho Mirage-based International Medical Alliance.
In a country as poor as Nicaragua, what we in the United States consider basic life necessities can be hard to come by.
The typical monthly wage for a farm worker in NIcaragua is about 30 dollars.
That's working sun-up to sundown.
And that's if a person can find work. Many others make their livings selling what the can or begging on the streets
It's a nation of very poor people. Many of whom have no access to healthcare or the financial means to afford it.
The International Medical Alliance - a group of doctors, nurses and volunteers - is working to change that.
The group was founded by Ines Allen. A woman with a heart of epic porportions.
Ines gives her heart, soul and sweat to helping others who are less fortunate.
In the town in Esteli, Nicaragua, Ines has made it her mission to get medical care to those who need it.
And there are thousands who do.
While all these people are treated for whatever ailments they have, Ines and her IMA group found something as simple as a wheelchair could change lives.
Wheelchairs in Nicaragua cost about 250 dollars each. And on a salary of 30 dollars a month or less they become unattainable for people like a woman we found who has severe rheumatoid arthritis and cant' walk.
"She has two ways of getting around, she can get around on horseback- and that's usually the way she gets around if she is going to go a long distance - or her husband carries her," said volunteer Jeff Crider.
"She is almost as big as her husband, so to see them walking down the street.. I mean, you can imagine someone who Is 40 years old carrying his wife who is almost the same size, quite a spectacle to see," added Crider.
We asked how long she has had to live like this.
Crider told us, "15 years, they're poor, he works as a farmer doing fieldwork, mainly with corn and beans. And they are a very poor family, live in rural area and have three kids and have never had the means to purchase a wheelchair."
Until the generous IMA volunteers stepped in.
The group took up donations amongst themselves.
Ines Allen said they had, "Two brand new chairs, and walkers, and three used wheelchairs."
The only chair the hospital had on hand was in shreds, tattered, torn and stained with blood.
The woman's life was drastically changed forever by this seemingly simple, but expensive, invention.
Another mother also received a wheelchair from IMA for her son, Fernando.
Physical therapist, Dannia Rodriguez, told us, "He is 12 years old and has cerebral palsy and can't walk so the mom carries him everywhere.
He is not a little child.
Even though Fernando can't talk, you can see how happy he is getting a wheelchair
We asked if he be able to wheel himself.
"Probably not because of his cerebral palsy. He has movements that don't coordinate, so he is going to be dependent on mom to push him around, but at least it will save her back and it will be more functional for her and him," said Rodriguez.
The mother told IMA, "she is really happy she has never had a wheelchair before. She says she has arm pain and back pain and stomach pain, so it will help her a lot."
She also has a younger child, a two year old that is not walking, two kids not walking, so its a lot of work for her.
Fernando and his mom leave the hospital happy knowing their stresses have eased up at least just a little for now.
And it is all thanks to people who they'd never met before.
People who care about them and have come all this way just to help.
The International Medical Alliance is in need of more wheelchairs for next year's trip..
And, of course, they are always accepting money donations or anything else you may have that can help their mission.