Life is always challenging for a child living with a chronic illness. Still, it’s particularly hard in places where healthcare resources are scarce. Because of people like you, children and mothers around the world gain access to quality health care from skilled volunteer medical professionals who do additional training with local clinicians on current best practices.

Without Global Healing’s Roatan Volunteer Pediatric Clinic (RVPC), children with threatening health conditions may not receive the life-saving care they need. Joel, who lives on the island of Roatan in Honduras, was diagnosed with a medical condition that affects his red blood cells. This condition caused Joel’s body to destroy red blood cells leaving him severely anemic and his organs full of iron. On the island and the mainland, few resources exist to treat Joel, but without ongoing treatment, Joel’s life was at risk.

Joel’s local doctors, Dra. Ligia Fu and Dra. Carla Cerritos reached out to Global Healing’s Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic and Volunteer Medical Director, Dr. Eric Scher, a Pediatric Hospitalist in Northern California. Dr. Scher took the time to learn about Joel’s medical history and the challenges faced in providing proper care. At a young age, Joel had already suffered through multiple blood transfusions, removal of his spleen, and the threat of multiple organ failure from excess iron.

Dr. Scher was able to secure the equipment and medication needed for Joel, typically costing thousands of dollars. Dr. Scher worked with several U.S. specialists to learn how to deliver the medicine safely and to develop a training program for Joel specifically. In addition to developing a treatment program for other children with similar problems leading to iron overload in Honduras. Dr. Scher and volunteer nurse Barb Stowe then taught Joel, his mother, and his medical team how to prepare the medication in a sterile manner, place his catheter, and then safely infuse the medication.

Joel requires ongoing complex careand it is only made possible because of volunteers and donations. He is now getting the best treatment option available, one that is customized for his condition, his location, and his family’s needs. Today, Joel is a happy and energetic 18-year-old because of the incredible medical training and supplies provided by Global Healing’s volunteers and donors.