Eva is a 53 year old Quechua Indian woman who lives with her husband, Alberto, in a very remote area of Bolivia. They live in an agricultural community high in the Andes Mountains near Potosi, the highest city in the world. They rode the train all night, traveling more than 300 miles to reach the Mission of Hope clinic in time for the cardiology screening for pacemakers.
Eva has Chagas disease, a disease which permanently damages the heart. The heart muscle weakens, beats more slowly, and then fails altogether. Eva’s heartbeat was about 35 beats per minute. She had resigned herself to the fact that she was dying and had even said goodbye to each of her children.
Eva and Alberto were just waiting for the end when suddenly everything changed! An American missionary doctor who was taking care of Eva told her about a US cardiology team that was coming to Santa Cruz. For them, it was a miracle that Eva was given the opportunity to go, and they saw it as a sign of God’s favor that she was selected to receive a free surgery and a free pacemaker!
Eva and Alberto had experienced a lot of rejection from family and friends because of their deep Christian faith and their refusal to participate in pagan rituals. In their community, there is a lot of idol worship and the people still go to the local witchdoctor for “medical” care. Eva and Alberto were excited to return to their village to tell everyone what God has done for them!