Posted on 5 September, 2018

It doesn’t seem to matter on the size of the of team, there always seems to be a busy, chaotic, manic, organised element to a project visit.Sometimes when you get back to the hotel late at night, you stop to contimplate what you have done with your day due to feeling run off your feet. But it is the smiley patients like Franz that make the organised chaos of the day all worth it.

25 year old Franzis in a similar age bracket to both my husband and brother and appears to share a similar wit and sense of humor, which makes it all a little more real for me. Some of the volunteers said hewas smiling as he was wheeled into theatre (there is a first for everything right?). Then shorlty after he was giving thumbs up as soon as he woke up after surgery and then joking with the nursing team once he was extubated (breathing tube removed). He even said he was excited to get his chest drains removed, not something our nurses hear everyday.


At dinner the other night, a discussion came up around how we all rank certain circumstances at a different level of importance or neccesity. This can be dictated by how we’ve been bought up, personal convictions, spiritual beliefs etc.Whatever the case, I would like to think that the majority of people would tend to agree that basic health care is a human right and should be available to all. Although this is an idealistic view, it is sadly far from the truth for so many people around the world purely because they were born in a different country. Despite the mumbles and groans we may have at times around Medicare and our health system in Australia, it is something that I will never take for granted again.


Here in Bolivia (and all the countries we work in) they have quite a different outlook on basic health care than in Australia as it isn’t so readily available to them. So strangely enough, something like heart surgery is an exciting and life changing experience to these beautiful people of Bolivia. Franz is the perfect example of what a different outlook looks like. To him it is viewed as a gift, and a wonderful gift at that, considering tomorrow is his 26th birthday!What a perfect opportunity to celebrate life.


Tags:  Bolivia,