Esperança

Margarito is Living Hernia-Free Thanks to Esperança’s Volunteer Surgical Mission

Margarito Díaz González doesn’t live the life most of us picture for a 66-year-old.

A native of El Tuma, Nicaragua, Margarito received up to a third-grade education before starting his life as a farmer. Many years and 10 children later, Margarito now works in the field as a farmer's helper, bringing in just enough income to support himself and small homestead.

You couldn’t tell by looking at him, but for the past 20 years Margarito has been suffering a horrible pain in his lower abdomen. Over time, a mass began protruding from his stomach, but despite the pain intensifying from the physical demands of his job, Margarito did not seek medical help. He was afraid of the potential illness, and terrified that even once he was diagnosed, he did not have the financial means to pay for an operation. So, he supplemented the discomfort with pain medications while working in the fields.

“The biggest challenge was being afraid of my illness since I did not know where I should go, and when I managed to find somewhere to go I did not have the money to be traveling several times to the hospital to perform all the exams and appointments. I even lost an opportunity to have surgery once.”

Margarito avoided exertion and did everything he could to prevent the mass from getting bigger. But how can a farmer survive without some level of physical activity? It was difficult for Margarito to find jobs where he did not have to over-exert himself.

“The pain was sometimes very intense…I had to leave the job I was in, making it difficult for me to generate money.”

Esperança's volunteer surgical mission hosted by our in-country partner, saw 47 patients, including Margarito

Then one day he was contacted by his son, hearing about an Esperança surgical brigade coming to their local hospital. Realizing this was his last chance, Margarito used the entirety of his menial savings to travel to the hospital to be seen by these specialists. In what seemed like the blink of an eye to Margarito, he was diagnosed with a large inguinal hernia, and the day after his admission underwent the necessary surgery. Margarito was discharged with minor outpatient treatment and general care recommendations, feeling the weight of the hernia leave his stomach and the weight of the world off his back.

Though Margarito’s farming lifestyle is far from a retirement we would imagine, he is proud to be able to continue his work and provide for himself at 66 years old.

“I feel very grateful that I will soon be able to carry out my work in the field without fear of pain or of injuring myself even more. Thanks to Esperança’s help, the operation was successful, and I recovered quickly. I hope that these brigades can always visit our community to help the most needy.”

Margarito was one of 47 lives transformed and reinvigorated that week.

Elena Burr