Two teams from the Warren County and the Jamestown, N.Y., areas traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in March to perform medical missions and service projects.
Each team included 18 members and worked at Escuela Hospital to reduce infant mortality by providing optimal conditions for birth and newborn care. The missions were organized by Little Angels of Honduras.
Dr. Alejandro Young, chief doctor of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, said, “Poverty is manifested here. We have people that are so poor that they cannot afford a diaper. So we have the need to fundraise outside of the supermarkets for things as simple as diapers.
“We even have a shortage of needles. We also have needs as large as ventilators for babies who are dying of pulmonary infections. Absolutely everything is useful to us. We would be grateful for anything,” he said.
Dr. Melissa Carter, an emergency physician at Warren General Hospital, went on one of the missions.
She said, “Imagine being a nurse or doctor standing over a newborn infant knowing you could save him if you had gloves, IV medication, a bottle….”
Mission participant Rev. Cameron Lienhart, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Frewsburg, N.Y., said, “The opportunity to serve the needs of others is something that everyone should be compelled to take part in. It is exciting for me to see that there are a generation of young people rising up and confronting the ‘all about me’ mindset that is prevalent in so many corners of society….the fact that people young and old are choosing to look outside of their fortunate circumstances to serve the needs of others is proof that God is doing something big in the hearts of people in Chautauqua County and beyond. I’m just grateful to be a small part of it, and to witness what I think is a miracle of God.”
Other Warren County residents travelling to Honduras were Gina Gazdak, Lisa Lundberg, Elizabeth Mechling, Julie Thompson, Dean Ordiway, Leslie Ordiway, Cole Ordiway, Michaela Meyers, and former resident Lindsay Head, a Jamestown Community College nursing student.
Supplies for the trips were donated individually, as well as by multiple churches, local high schools, Warren General, WCA Hospital in Jamestown, Jamestown Community College, and EmergyCare.
Little Angels of Honduras is a locally incorporated nonprofit organization and was founded by two local individuals, Katie Castro and Christian Perry, in 2013 after the loss of Castro’s infant daughter in Honduras.
The organization has as one of its objectives the construction of a new maternal-infant care hospital for the country. Little Angels provides regular opportunities for volunteer service abroad.