Hospitalito Atitlan

Santiago, Guatemala

Dr. Tom McDonald

February 15, 2023

Day 3

Our team saw the sun both come up and go down over Lake Atitlan today. In between, with the help of the amazing staff at Hospitalito Atitlan and the support of all of our donors, we did some good.

Today we met a young woman who has had severe and at times debilitating pain at the end of her middle finger for over three years. Until today, she has been told that it was nothing and that nothing could be done. Fortunately for us both, I had some amazing teachers over the years at UC Davis and in Indianapolis and, after careful examination and eliciting a few key bits of information, both Stephanie and I recognized that she had a glomus cell tumor. This is a fairly uncommon, benign, and quite painful tumor that can grow in someone’s fingertip – usually beneath the nail. It can be difficult to diagnose due to lack of visible signs. But as I said, I was lucky enough to meet the likes of Drs. Kleinman, Szabo, and James during my training, and therefore came prepared.

We needed to make a few adjustments to our “operating theatre” and so we sent Shirley on a scouting mission to retrieve a better light and the right sutures as well as other instruments in preparation for the tumor removal. Stephanie scrubbed in with me and with an audience of a new friend and colleague taking pictures and notes, got that sucker out.

Tomorrow I am giving my first public lecture in a language other than English, so I need to sign off and practice. Thanks for following along with our trip!


2 thoughts on “Guatemala

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