jorge & maritzabackground.
our good friend jorge villeda is the pastor of the church we work with here in san vicente. he has been facilitating our teams from canada for years and does a great job. he often shares stories of life growing up as a young boy in el salvador. his family had very little money and could only afford a house made of used tin and sticks, much like the homes many of the people we are attempting to help live in right now. he tells a story of a storm coming thru one night and a wall of the house coming down on him while he slept! he decided then as a kid that one day no matter what he did for a living, he wanted to help people move out of homes like his and into a safe place for a family to live. well for 9 years now he has been doing exactly that! as a side job to pastoring his church he coordinates teams from canada to come build homes. this year alone over 100 homes will be build under his watch.
friday night he was driving home from visiting his mother's house in a nearby town around 10:30pm and nodded off at the wheel. no one saw the accident, but by the damage to the car we think it must have rolled at least once before hitting the tree. the police drove by sometime after the accident and called for the fire department as they couldn't get him out of the car. once on sight, the fire department took 45 minutes to cut him out of the car, then brought him by ambulance to the nearest hospital by ambulance. stu and i were with most of the kids at a youth camping trip that night along with his wife (maritza) and two kids when they got the call. the pastor's son in law headed out at 2am and we followed behind with maritza and others at 6am after packing up camp. at this point we become thankful for our health care system in canada despite the long waits. for even though we wait, we get the best care in the world once with the doctor. the public health care system of el salvador on the other hand is not quite the same. 8 hours after arriving: he was lying bent out of shape on the bed, no doctor had seen him, x-rays were not completed, and they said it might be a couple days for a doctor to come in since it was semana santa (easter weekend) and it would be hard to get anyone in during that time. by that time i have no doubt infection would have set in to his life threatening injuries and they would have had no choice but to amputate.
we contacted jim nobel (who heads up missions in el salvador), and decided to get him to a private hospital in san salvador. by lunch we were meeting with an surgeon looking at x-rays of his three seriously broken bones in his legs. (femur, tibia, and hip) later that afternoon he is was in surgery for over 5 hours to put plates and pins in. back home jim sent out emails to friends of pastor jorge and within a couple days the entire hospital medical bill was paid for! i want to say a big thank you to those that gave so generously and so quickly.
6 days later he is still in the hospital with some new complications we were told this morning. they are keeping him in until monday at the earliest. prognosis: he has to stay flat for quite a while, cannot put weight on his legs for 2 months, then rehab... we hope and pray that his bones will mend well. we will keep you updated.
life is fragile. the human body is no match for steel, concrete, speed, tree trunks or any combination thereof. we are fragile beings in many respects. emotionally and physically and spiritually. we are a second away from being here no more. pastor only remembers heading home and being tired, the next thing he remembers is the hospital. in the blink of an eye - life changes.
i told the kids this morning at breakfast to make the most of today, to enjoy it b/c you never get to do it over again. you only have one chance to live today so make it good. life is fragile, and yet so precious, isn't it?