Aguinda is a 32 year old mother of six children. Aguinda grew up in a Christian family and at the age of 18, she married the keyboard musician at her church. She worked as a cook’s helper in a Christian mission home for street children until she began having children of her own. When she quit work to stay at home and care for her children, the family economic situation became very difficult.

After the birth of her 5th child, Aguinda had a “copper T” intrauterine device inserted so that she would not have any more children. A few months later, she began to feel sick. She went back to the gynecologist who had inserted the copper T, and he told her that she was pregnant. Aguinda, shocked by the news, asked the doctor how she could be pregnant when he had inserted an IUD. The doctor said there was no IUD in place and denied that he had ever inserted one.

When Aguinda was lying on the operating table to deliver her 6th child by Caesarian Section, she informed the surgeon that a copper T had been inserted prior to her becoming pregnant. The surgeon refused to listen to her and told her to be quiet and not talk during the surgery.

About 5 years after the birth of this last child, Aguinda began to feel sharp pains in her abdomen. The pain was so strong that she was not able to do her housework. In the months that followed, she went to several different doctors. Each one could feel a mass in her abdomen, but no one could tell her what it was and why it was causing such sharp pain.

Finally, she came to the Mission of Hope clinic. On exam, Dr. Luis Tapia was very surprised to discover that this mass was the copper Tthat had been inserted 7 years before! Aguinda needed an urgent surgery and was immediately put on the list for the surgery team that was arriving from the US.

When the team operated, they found that the copper T was outside the uterus and had created an abscess. Aguinda developed anemia and a very serious systemic infection after the surgery. A middle of the night crisis resulted in a decision to give her a blood transfusion. At 2 am, a call was made to the local blood bank requesting 2 units of blood. The blood bank refused to send the blood until someone came with $200 cash to pay for the blood. If the team had not been there, that could have been the end of the story.

Later that day, the decision was made to transfer Aguinda to a private hospital, where she could be more closely monitored in an intensive care facility. Before agreeing to receive her and treat her, the hospital wanted a $3,500 cash deposit. Again, if the team had not been there, this story would have a completely different outcome.

Aguinda has now completely recovered from her surgery and the complications which followed. She is very thankful to God for using this team to save her life and for all those who support the Mission of Hope clinic in Santa Cruz.