Dr. Elmer Kennel with his wife, Marianne. Every year since 2003, Dr. Kennel has been to Mission of Hope clinic with a surgery team.
The team taking a break from the operating room. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Elmer Kennel, Josh, Jessica, Emmett, and Allison.
Viviana, 9 years old, has had a hernia since birth. Her mother works as a cleaning lady, and her father works as a guard. Viviana is in 4th grade and her favorite subject is math. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
Martha, 40 years old, is a single mom with 5 children. Just before the team arrived, she was in so much pain from gallstones that she was admitted to a public hospital. Surgery was not an option there because she had no money.
Valentina, 54 years old, is a single mom with 3 teenagers. Nodules growing in her thyroid gland over the past 20 years had gotten so large that it was difficult for her to breathe lying down and difficult for her to swallow her food. Now she can eat and breathe normally!
Pedro, 45 years old, lives with his 2 school aged children in the poorest neighborhood of Santa Cruz . His wife died of appendicitis. He earns about $6/day selling newspapers on the street. He was in pain from a large hernia for many years. Now he can work without pain!
Donna (left) prays with Sandy after a successful surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst.
Vicky reads an Elmo story in Spanish to Jorge after hernia surgery.
Sonia (left) and Ginny check Maribel after gall bladder surgery.
Dr. Carl Lynch (center) with Emily (left) starts an IV on Esperanza.
Sonia works on her patient notes.
Patients having a time of praise and worship.
These three ladies came from a German Mennonite colony several hours away from Santa Cruz. They came into the Mission of Hope hospital very fearful and afraid, and they left the Mission of Hope hospital with smiles on their faces. They said they could not remember when they had laughed so much. They all said they felt like they had a vacation.
Donna Miller takes time to praise and worship with the patients.
Yenny, 40 years old, is the mother of six children. She has been in pain from gallstones for 11 years. A doctor told her she needed surgery, but she did not have money for surgery. A neighbor told her about Mission of Hope, and now she is pain free.
Carla, 20 years old, was diagnosed two years ago with an ovarian cyst. She was told to see a specialist, but she knew she did not have enough money to pay a specialist. The pain got progressively worse. Then a friend told her about Mission of Hope. Carla is now healed and free of pain.
Amalia, 27 years old, is a single mom who lives with her three young children and her grandparents in one small room. She washes clothes to earn a living. For more than two years, she was in pain from a large gallstone. Now she is pain free.
Nicolasa, 46 years old, is a single mom of six children. She works at a fruit stand to earn money to support the family. She has been in pain from double hernias for 22 years. Now she can work without pain.
Ruth, 19 years old, lives with her mother and two brothers. Her mother washes clothes to support the family. Ruth is a very bright student who received a full scholarship to study systems engineering at a university in Santa Cruz. She was in so much pain from gallstones that it was difficult for her to study. Now Ruth is pain free.
Jose Luis recovering from his hernia surgery.
Luciana, 53 years old, has been in pain from a hernia for 21 years. She has not been able to work for the past 12 years. Her husband works hauling goods with a wheelbarrow and earns about four dollars a day. Luciana is now free from pain.
Alberto coloring after his hernia surgery.
Vicky leads a crafting session with patients (from left to right), Eustaquia, Norma, Martha, and Beatriz, as they recover from their surgeries.
Esperanza and Maria chatting after lunch during their recovery.
Alberto (left) and Asael preparing all of the food trays for a meal.