The Tia Foundation has saved a life, completed a project, hired 2 doctors and more. Check Tia’s our latest newsletter by clicking this link. Thank you!
The Tia Foundation has just hired two new doctors! Thank you to everyone who contributed monthly to bring on Doctors Cuauhtemoc and Tamarha! With their help, we will be on track to bring sustainable healthcare to over one million people by 2025.
Dr. Cuauhtemoc wanted to say, “Thanks for your supporting this project with your help we bring sustainable health care to communities. Muchas gracias for helping us empower people in their communities. Thank you so much for helping to make a big difference in small communities. Gracias, with your help, we bring a greater sense of community to people by teaching how to take care of each other. Thank you so much for helping us to help other people to help more people, which is the best kind of help.”
Dra. Tamarha wrote, “I’m very grateful to all of you who gave me the opportunity to participate in this amazing association. When I was in Med school I went to my first brigade, I didn’t know what was happening or what was I doing, I only knew that the important thing was to help people, now I realize that that was the moment when TIA foundation showed me the other way to love medicine, and for it I will be forever grateful. I am very happy to be part of this project.”
Both doctors are deeply committed to Tia’s mission and will help us to reach more people than ever. The Tia Foundation is grateful to our supporters whose monthly contributions will make a lasting difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
The line of patients stretched out the door. People held scraps of paper in their hands, waiting for their numbers to be called.
Belinda’s petite figure, dressed impeccably in slacks, button-up, and boots, immediately stole the room. She’d pinned her long silver hair up under a wide-brimmed hat. She smiled as she entered the clinic, her genuine joy radiating throughout her face in perfect, concentric lines.
There was no way to tell Belinda’s exact age. She didn’t remember when her birthday was. What everyone present could see, however, is that her beauty had not left her as youth had, but happily remained in her bright eyes, wide lips, and sun-pinked skin.
After waiting her turn, Belinda sat to give her name, answer some health questions, and have her vitals taken. She told Tia’s volunteers she’d had headaches for a few months and last night she’d had a nosebleed.
Tia volunteers took Belinda’s temperature and heart rate, but it was her blood pressure that sent alarms through the brigade: 181 over 115.
Belinda never got a numbered sliver of paper, but instead moved immediately to an exam room to lay down. Brigade members quickly moved in and out of the room, periodically consulting Tia’s medical director, Dr. Roberto Martinez.
Dr. Roberto’s prescription was captopril, a medication commonly used in emergency situations because it could quickly coax a person away from hypertensive crisis. Belinda swallowed the pill and laid down to wait.
But Belinda’s headache continued and her blood pressure stayed put. Another pill was produced and swallowed.
When a third pill became necessary, Dr. Roberto spoke quietly with the brigade pharmacist, a volunteer from Phoenix.
“How much captopril do we have?”
“Just the one bottle,” she said, pulling it from her pocket. “And there are only a few more pills inside.”
Dr. Roberto grimaced. “Keep that bottle in your pocket and don’t give them to anybody but me.”
Hypertension is a common problem in the rural areas of Mexico. For a community largely comprised of farmers and ranchers, fresh produce was notoriously difficult to come by. When fresh vegetables were available, family cooks typically salted them heavily.
Still, a life lived high in the mountains had probably served Belinda well. Elevation tends to lessen the severity of high blood pressure.
“How long do you think she’s had high blood pressure?” said the pharmacist.
“A long time,” said Dr. Roberto.
Three captopril later, Belinda’s blood pressure finally began to drop. The smile returned to her face.
There was talk among the doctors about making room in the vans for Belinda. There was a better clinic down the mountain a bit in the town of Zapotitlan de Vadillo, where the Brigade would teach medical care classes to people from several local communities. Unfortunately, with that much captopril in Belinda’s system, traveling to a lower elevation could bring her blood pressure down too far.
Instead, the brigade made room for two local women who planned to join the afternoon class. They’d volunteered to return with more captopril and other medications that evening.
That afternoon, the brigade taught the Promotores how to handle hypertension emergencies—and how to prevent them.
The author of this and other stories to be featured here is Katherine Casna. After traveling into the field on a Tia project, Kat generously donated these lovely stories to make our work come alive to our friends and donors. Thoughtful and brilliant, Ms. Casna is a freelance writer who can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathryn-casna-freelance-writer/
Last week the Tia Foundation hosted events in San Francisco and Phoenix, our Founder formally announced her dream of reaching a million people by 2025. To kick off our push to realize that dream, the proceeds from the two events will be used to benefit a healthcare project this spring and hire one more full-time doctor… maybe 2! When we finish crunching the numbers and speaking with the potential candidates, we will give more details. Stay tuned! We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of both events. So many people and businesses came together to show support, gave numerous hours of free time and donated what they could to bring healthcare to thousands of people in underserved regions of Mexico. The Tia Foundation is truly grateful. Thank you!
Yesterday, Tia’s founder met with Huichol leader, Mateo, who explained the great need for healthcare at their hard to reach communities in the far northern reaches of Jalisco. Much of the year, the roads are impassible by vehicle and it often takes 18 hours or more to reach their villages when the roads are clear. We are considering flying a small brigade to reach these communities, but of course, that will increase the cost of our project implementation. Tens of thousands of Indigenous Huicholes, including little Delia (pictured above) live in villages scattered throughout the area.