Fifteen years! More than 1000 patients!

CAMTA is happy to report that we have completed our fifteenth successful Mission in Quito! Over those fifteen years, we have changed the lives of over 1000 Ecuadorians through orthopedic surgery. Adults, previously too crippled to work, have been given new hip joints allowing them to live pain-free. Children who may have walked with difficulty, or not at all, have had club feet and other leg and foot abnormalities corrected so that they can grow, play and move more easily. Multiply that by the number of family members, now and in the future, whose lives will be better because their loved one can enjoy life and be productive, and you can see that CAMTA has made a real difference!

We look forward to returning to Ecuador in the years to come to offer life-changing surgery to those who need it but cannot afford the costs.

Mission 2017
Over a three week period in February and March, 91 volunteers from all over Canada, the US, Australia and Ecuador changed the lives of 38 adults and 27 children with desperately needed orthopedic surgeries. Two of the adults and five of the children had more than one surgery. 

Our group of professionals also shared knowledge with their Quito colleagues, with two Nursing presentations and two from our Physiotherapists. CAMTA surgeons participated in the Third Annual Conference on Orthopedic Surgical Procedures, giving presentations on four different topics. 

Members of the Canadian Embassy with CAMTA volunteers

We had some very welcome visitors.   Eric Kendrick and Marialorina Pasquel from the Canadian Embassy in Quito dropped by to meet our team and visit with some of our patients. 

Delicious treats provided by the NH Collection Royal Quito

Staff members from NH Collection Royal Quito, our 'home away from home" in Quito, arrived at the hospital one day with a surprise lunch: great sandwiches, juices, cookies and a beautiful cake!

Speaking of lunch...  Zulay and David Palacios and their very generous friends once again provided lunch at the hospital for our hungry volunteers  every day of the three week Mission!

Another long time CAMTA supporter,  Byron UshiƱa, treated us to two evenings of shopping for his handcrafted Ecuadorean Ancestral Jewelry. Byron donates a piece of his art to be given away to a lucky team member AND discounts his prices for our volunteers, then donates 10% of his sales on those evenings back to CAMTA.
Translator Francisco Gallardo and friend
CAMTA meets the challenge of communicating with our mostly Spanish-speaking patients by bringing hardworking translators with us. We are also grateful to have many locally based translators offer their services. 
Miluska Sanchez once again organized a full schedule of local high school students, and some of their mothers, to help with translating. A former surgical patient, Jorge Anibal Chulde Zaruma  comes back every year to translate physiotherapists' exercise demonstrations in the clinic. CAMTA translator Sammy Ruiz 's parents, Hugo and Oliva Ruiz also helped with translating. And  Alex Tapia, local translator who became a CMATA team member for the 2016 mission and has brought friends with her to help in the clinic and for the past two years, brought her daughter, Mili, this year. 

Meet Mekel - one of our "star" patients
"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart" A.A. Milne. 

Mekel has the most captivating eyes. Young, sad and scared but determined and mischievous all at once. At 6 years old, he was unable to stand or walk. He couldn't play with his friends or sit comfortably.  Mekel lives with his parents in a home with a dirt floor. His only means of mobility was to crawl or be carried. 

CAMTA surgeons performed tendon releases at his hips and ankles. The next day, those eyes cried in pain but the day after that, they lit up with joy. For the first time, Mekel stood with his feet flat on the floor and his legs straight. For us, this was astounding, for Mekel, it wasn't enough. Tentative at first, he took small steps pushing a chair ahead of him. By the next morning, he could walk holding on to someone's hands. With every step, his eyes got brighter, more tenacious. His smile was shy but quickly became infecti ous, encouraging each person in the room.

Mobility is something we so often take for granted. Mekel has a long road of therapy and learning ahead of him. His resilience, determination and willpower are inspiring. We can do a lot with very little. We can do what we set are minds to when we have the tools we need. Every member of the CAMTA team adds a piece to the puzzle, it was a privilege to be a part of such amazing work, to give Mekel and his parents some of what they need to move forward.    
(with thanks to Barb Furler, Week One Physiostherapist)

Families send CAMTA their appreciation
Except from a letter from four children of a 2017 patient:
"... heartfelt thanks to the members of Team CAMTA for your enormous gesture towards my Mother ... Thanks to your good hearts you gave her a new opportunity by operating on her and donating the prosthetic needed to fix the physical problem on her right hip which she developed over time from wear and tear.  I don't have words to describe how grateful our family feels, if there were an opportunity to live two or three lives, we would be grateful to you in every life we live hereafter.  I hope God will bless and thank you always for all your help, and for coming this far to offer your support, I hope you will come back soon to our country, you are heroes with big hearts, my family and I are eternally grateful."

and another patient's family:
" ... thanks (to) the Doctors ... who have given her hope for a new life.  Her children and her husband also thank you, we are very proud and very happy for all the support that you have given us and for the smiles we'll have in this life onward.  We wish you much success in your careers, thank you!

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