Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It always fascinates me to see such a huge effort put on 
by so many folks wishing to do nothing more than bring 
a little sunshine into the lives of so many folks. 
And as we see, bringing much needed  quality health care 
to a population with so very little does not stop there. 
So these folks spend hours flying to a little place in the Baja
peninsula to spend an evening getting ready to wake up early,
eat a quickly prepared breakfast in order to climb aboard an 
airplane again for another hour to jump right into action 
providing non-stop medical care for the next seven hours. 
Then climb again into those  little airplanes in order to get 
back to their hotel before the sun stops lighting the dirt landing 
strip. One would think that at that point they
would all want nothing more than a nice hot shower and enjoy
 a warm meal and warm friendship before a good nights sleep in 
preparation of another chilly and long flight back home to 
enjoy the holidays with their family. 
But wait! This group doesn't know how to stop with that.
So a pilot who has now spent 2 or three hours of flying on 
Saturday also happens to be a doctor spending 7 hours between 
flying giving of his heart to treat the many illnesses looking for 
some glimmer of hope at feeling better rushes to a quick change 
from providing health care to what we see right here:




Bringing additional happiness to all the children in the hotel. 
WOW! Talk  about a dedicated bunch of the biggest hearted folks 
I have come to know in all of my global travels. 
                                WAY TO GO SAMS! 
For you don't seem to know how to be naughty. 

Well Christmas time is always a challenge since everybody 
wants to be able to spend time with family and loved ones. 
With the December clinic only 5 days before Christmas it is 
truly amazing to be able to find folks so willing to give up this 
special time from being with family and friends in order to 
bring such vastly needed care to such a grateful people in this 
little fishing village we have all come to love so much. 
While we were not able to find dentists for clinic we 
had  no shortage of other providers to  make up. 
Our clinic numbers are not a statistic as much as they are a
labor of love and caring for our fellow mankind sharing the 
same  planet we all hold so dear. But this is the place where 
we report to those  who so graciously give our group permission
to practice medicine in their country every month. 
In that spirit we had 20 folks help with general medicine
together with 5 ladies seen by OBgyn docs. 14 children were 
helped and our chiropractors were able to attend to 50 folks. 
Another 8 patients were able to have minor procedures with 
warts and skin tags removed and the likes.
40 patients were helped out with reading glasses and another 
20 were seen by our local optometrist. While we may not have 
had any dentists on board this month we did see 10 folks have 
their teeth cleaned giving our patient count of 167. When we 
add in the pharmacy fills of 65 our total count for
December 2014 comes to 232 folks helped out during the 
worlds Christmas holidays. Not a bad way of closing out 2014.
                                             Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 2014

While the days are becoming shorter as we enter into
the beginnings of Winter the number of huge hearts
coming to Baja to help those in great need of health
care is becoming longer. With eight aircraft on the
ground in Lopez Mateos for our November clinic we
had about 38 between the Flying Samaritans Arizona
and Aeromedicos Santa Barbara. What a group! They
just jumped right in and got things rolling in a big way.
Our clinic repairs may not be finished but that didn't
stop this group from seeing 25 general medicine
patients along with 7 ladies helped in OBgyn.
8 children were taken care of and 25 folks were able
to have warts, marks etc removed on the medical side
of things. Our chiropractors helped 70 folks and we
were able to evaluate and hand out reading glasses
to 45 folks. 30 patients were seen by our dentists
and another 20 walked away with cleaner and brighter
smiles. That brings our patient load to 230 for this
month before adding in pharmacy fills of 79 for a
total of 309 people helped out during the Baja 1000
annual off-road race. WAY TO GO SAMS!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Odile Repair

Many folks have made it a point to donate towards
the repairs of damages suffered from the hurricane
which struck Baja the 14th of September. Our clinic
suffered damage as we mentioned in previous posts
and all of you with huge hearts stepped up to the
challenge. While this type of repair takes some time
due to concrete needing to cure and availability of
material we shall attempt to let folks see the progress
of repairs. Naturally we had certain things that needed
to be completed in order to hold the October clinic such
as getting electricity restored to the clinic which
involved reinstalling the transformer and poles which 
were blown down. It's obvious that we succeeded in
that since we had a great first clinic of the 2014/2015
season of the Flying Samaritans. So we have since
managed to go from previous photos to this:


  Naturally there are many other areas of damage which follows
besides some serious repairs needed from previous storms such
as the roof replaced on the waiting area and concrete repairs to
the posts that hold that roof up:
Now we had some interior damage caused by all of the rain 
seeping into the walls so inside the clinic required a good bit
of stucco repair:

And while at it we poured the floor under the two dental
chairs for cleaning:

 As well as a good bit of other stucco repair. Especially in the
area around our dental islands with stainless steel tops and
in the sterilizing area:


We'll be repainting inside and out with the same colors.
I hope we can finish everything by Christmas. But November
clinic should look much better thanks to the generosity of so
many who donated to meet the needs of repair.

Not wanting for anybody to fell left out here are a few more
areas dealt with:


 And for those who have been concerned about folks reaching up and getting
electrocuted while eating lunch we've raised the wired out of reach:


 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 2014

Fall has begun and we're finally enjoying some
ocean breeze these days. Of course one of the 
things we also enjoy about the Fall is that is when
our wonderful health care providers get the
chance to zone out of the heat in Arizona. Although
this month some of those providers came again 
from Santa Barbara's AeroMedicos and they are
always welcome. We also enjoy it immensely when
our new Flying Samaritan season gets off to a
great start. And our 2014/2015 season did just that.
While clinic hurricane damage repairs are still
underway we had sort of a roof over the chiropractic
area so that 62 folks were able to walk a little 
better with a whole bunches of pain relief. Our
reading glasses group was able to help 30 folks be
able to read all those things they had missed which
as well lifts the spirit. It's amazing how big a person
can smile when they can read all of those little text
messages our society has become so accustomed to.
21 folks were able to have teeth repaired and another
ten walked away with cleaner brighter smiles to light
up the neighborhood. 20 children got to be seen by
doctors and another 25 adults were seen by general
medicine experts. With another 6 ladies seen by
OBgyn and 5 more folks were able to see a neurologist.
If my brain was not fried during the past few days in
the sun rebuilding one of our buildings that totals 169
patients helped today plus the 65 pharmacy patients
taken care of giving the first clinic of the new season
a great start at 234 consults completed. I would be remiss
if I didn't mention that one of our dentist was from
Constitution and we have a local psychologist who would 
like to begin seeing patients with our group in November.
She's mostly interested in helping women and children
but will see anybody in need. What a great way to start
off the new year. WAY TO GO SAMS! 
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dateline Sept 17th 2014

As many already know Baja was struck by a major hurricane on Sept. 14th. Odile made landfall over Cabo San Lucas as a Cat 4
hurricane and marched up the peninsula until entering the Gulf of California North of Santa Rosalia. Folks in Arizona felt the remaining rain from Odile today. All power and water as well as phone and internet went out Sunday night and remains out to this day in much of the region. The first chance I've had to get to the clinic was this morning in order to assess any damage we may need to repair before our next scheduled clinic the 18th of October. From what I found it will still be some time before being able to get a vehicle to the clinic in order to begin. These photos I took this morning Wednesday. Here you can see the boat access to the clinic:

  Wading thru the mud and water allowed me to open the front
gate and this was the first thing that welcomed me to clinic

Looking at our compressor room shows some repair needed as
well
Once inside the clinic we fortunately only have one hole
in the roof to deal with which is in the dental area.
With luck and help we'll be ready for October. That's
my story and I'm sticking with it.


 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2013/2014 season's end

July brings the end of our Lopez Mateos 
Flying Samaritan clinic season.
This season has without a doubt seen the 
end of the low patient numbers brought about 
by the changing of clinic day from the 2nd to 
the 3rd  Saturday of the month a few years ago. 
Hence, this year was a celebration of sorts as to how 
the Sams are able to continue year after year improving 
the lives of so many people in need. Even by changing the 
dates of clinics the need is met with huge hearts, lots of 
donated time and tons of donated supplies and money 
out of each Samaritans personal finances. So many
Americans simply cannot understand the sacrifices each 
of the Samaritans make towards this monthly humanitarian 
effort.  Thank you ALL so much!

Next year looks to be a great year now that we've broken 
away from the low numbers of confusion over the clinic day. 
Sometimes change is simply slow to assimilate. But assimilate 
they did as has been shown by the gradual increase in patient load.

This month we were graced once again with the help of 
Aeromedicos from Santa Barbara, California. What a wonderful 
giving group of providers who looked for someplace to apply 
their efforts after the closing of the runway where they normally 
go in Cadaje, far enough inland from Conception Bay to make 
vehicle access a huge challenge. Due to their Dental and Medical
providers, along with ours and three providers from Constitucion 
our numbers for July are respectful. We had 35 general medicine 
along with 10 OBgyn and  15 pediatric patients helped on the 
medical front. 
Thanks to Aeromedico and providers from Constitucion 22 
dental patients were able to realize dental repairs and 9 folks 
were able to leave with a brighter cleaner smile. Some of
our Arizona medical students were kept busy helping 23 folks 
with reading glasses and our Chiropractors helped 65 folks walk 
a bit straighter and less painful. We also had our first foray into 
Speech Therapy by sending a new Samaritan member along with a translator/nurse to the senior asylum in Constitucion. 
They took care of the needs of 25 of the residents needs. 
If I can still add that seems to total 204 patients helped plus 121 
pharmacy fills for a total count of 325 medical actions completed 
this last month of the 2013/2014 season of 
Arizona Flying Samaritan Lopez Mateo clinic. 
Way to go Sams. Looking forward to our next season.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Measure of success

How does one measure excitement?  
The worldwide resounding response when the World Cup
announcer yells out "GOL"?  

The golfer is seen with a hole in one? 
Team wins by one point, but wins? 
A real meteor shower over your home.  
Excitement for sure. Passive...but excitement. 
How does that measure up to waiting for days, 
mayhaps, walking for miles, to sleep where one
can, than stand in line, perhaps for hours, 

then to first hear, then turn to see the planes, 
watch them land, see the people coming up close, 
smile, say "Buena Dia, Amigo", then proceed into the
fenced in area. Shortly afterward, a voice calls out 

                             "Bienvenidos!" 
Just, how does one measure excitement?

June Clinic

While June Gloom may be dancing across North America 
it was not the case in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos 
this longest day of the year. 
A joint effort of Arizona's Flying Samaritans 
and California's AeroMedicos certainly lifted 
the spirits of the many folks in Southern Baja 
in need of medical care. California's AeroMedicos 
demonstrated the same giving hearts as we see 
virtually every month from our angels out of the 
Phoenix Valley who dedicate so much time and 
money out of their own pockets and hearts to make 
life a LOT better for the families of Baja who simply 
are unable to afford the health care so desperately needed. 
While it may have seemed at first landing
that there were not that many patients waiting, 
the clinic soon became the bastion of humanitarian aid 
we are so accustomed to. As many folks don't understand, 
this blog is the place where we report to the Mexican
authorities who so graciously give our American health care 
providers permission to practice medicine in their country 
the numbers of patients seen. 
In that spirit we are proud to share how much help is brought to
Mexico.

With the help of AeroMedicos, 15 folks left actually being able 
to hear the many sounds which escaped them previously as 
result of an extremely well prepared audiologist, equipment 
and hearing aids. 
On a personal note, I am one of those who left hearing things 
that have escaped me during the past three years after 
chemotherapy took 85% of my ability to hear. 
While we did not have a dental hygienist this month 
AeroMedico graciously provided three dentists who helped
25 dental patients before heading off to Loreto to buy the fuel 
needed for their return trip. One of the AeroMedico pilots spent 
his day helping fit 35 folks with reading glasses so they could 
read all those cellphone text messages which had escaped them. 
Our own Samaritans didn't get outdone by any means on the 
numbers with 80 folks walking a little straighter as a result of 
chiropractic adjustments.
Our general medicine docs chiming in with 35 patients helped 
and our pediatric numbers of 20 patients seen. Aeromedico supplied 
our OBgyn services for 12 ladies seen. If I can still add after my brain 
being inundated with all the new sounds I can hear, that seems to 
total 222 patients consulted during 7 hours of providers on the ground. 
Once we add in pharmacy prescriptions of 115 it looks like there were
337 total actions today for a GREAT clinic. As once shared by our
fearless leader "We're Back!" Way to go Sams! Looking forward to
seeing everybody's smiling faces return again In July to escape the
Arizona heat and wind up the 2013/2014 season of the 
Arizona Los Amigos chapter of the Flying Samaritans. Note how
many times we used ESCAPE this month. Come ESCAPE to Baja
soon and be part of one of the greatest groups of medical
providers on the planet.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May clinic

May flowers after April Showers doesn't seem to be the case in Southern Baja at any time. But Mother's Day is universal regardless of country or custom it seems. I suspect this was the case for our May clinic because we were short on specialties flying in from North of the border. Without dental, OBgyn and chiropractors our numbers were down a bit. But since the Sam's efforts are not about numbers we had a great clinic after all. Our hygienist was able to help 15 folks walk away with brighter smiles while pediatric saw to 9 children some of which will indeed require some follow-up to find the needed care here in Mexico. Which we will be seeking in short order. Our children after all are our future. Our general medical doctors were able to attend to the needs of 30 folks and 27 others were able to get reading glasses fitted so they will be able to read the little text messages this period in time of mankind has made a requirement for our everyday communication needs. If I can still add  that comes to 81 patients seen by our dedicated group of providers who trek this far South of the border. Once we add in the 90 pharmacy fills that brings todays number up to 171 completed actions this 17th of May 2014. Way to go Sams! It's always so much fun to see everybody come and give so much of their heart and pocketbooks to help such a humble community. Thank you all so much.
That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April showers of love

April clinic needed to be moved to the second Saturday due to 
Easter conflict. While we put the word out of the change for
several months we really didn't expect many to come. We were
pleasantly surprised as these numbers indicate.
Gen Medicine  25
OBgyn                10
pediatric           18
dental                20
hygiene             13
eye glasses       25
chiropractic     65
sub total           176
pharmacy          85
total count       261
While we normally have a lot of wordy thank you type documentation
here is a picture report beginning early following clinic to the end of
the day. First pictures are before any  planes arrive and last pictures 
are our worn out crew getting ready to head North.










  Hope you enjoyed the chronology of a typical clinic.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March Clinic

Life always has those wonderful moments when things just simply come together as they should. March clinic of the Flying Samaritans in Lopez Mateos was one of those moments. With 9 planes on the ground from Arizona Flying Samaritans early in the morning (before 09:30) the clinic got off to a huge start.
Our group from Arizona had to split providers up between Lopez Mateos and Laguna San Ignacio which left us just a bit short of enough providers to cover the needs of the patients in Lopez Mateos. So with 4 Mexican providers arriving
from Constitucion to lend a hand the day was off to a great start. By the way, those four were two dentist and two medical doctors who so graciously gave their time along with all of those angels who flew from Arizona. All of this help provided care to the folks of Baja that greatly lack within their families economic situations. Remember that most of these families have a monthly income of $200.00 dollars or less so this medical care is more than just a helping hand. It is all that many of these families are able to find within their income levels. The Flying Samaritans were able to attend 36 general medicine patients along with 22 children seen by our pediatric provider together with another 14 ladies seen by our OBgyn folks on the medical front. Then we add in 25 dental patients helped together with another 11 folks who walked away with brighter smiles by our dental staff. One infant was even able to have an over extended umbilical cord removed by our provider who traveled all the way from Washington State to be part of the clinic along with his gracious wife. Our chiropractor helped relieve discomforts of 75 folks and the eye department provided much needed eye exams for 23 patients. We also had providers to help 82 folks with reading glasses. If my math skills still work that seems to be 289 patients who were attended to in 7 1/2 hours of providers on the ground. It would be remiss if we did not include the 130 RX prescriptions filled in our Pharmacy which brings the total consultations for today to 419. I think it is safe to say that we have not seen those numbers in quite some time. That's our story today and we're sticking to it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February Valentine Clinic

With the entire group of the most caring and dedicated care providers
traveling on Valentine Day we can see just exactly how big of a heart
each of the Flying Samaritans have beating within their chest. To be
sure, traveling on a holiday in order to help those in need is a huge
decision and can not go without a heartfelt comment. Thank you each
and every one for all of your efforts. One such group of travelers came
all the way from Vancouver, Washington in the Pacific Northwest part
of the United States. They vacation in Loreto, BCS and have documented
their flight from Loreto to Lopez Mateos for all to enjoy. Of course for those 
who are regular travelers to the Flying Samaritan clinic in Lopez Mateos
these vistas are well enjoyed. For those who would like to come and have
never experienced the variety of views from aloft here is a hint of what
you might expect flying over Baja California Sur, Mexico. Of course since
we have an obligation to report to the Mexico government our treatment 
status we do so here. Those status numbers for our Valentine clinic were
28 patients seen by general medicine doctors and 18 children were treaated
by our pediatric providers. Rounding out the medical front we had 9 ladies 
helped by our OBgyn group followed up with 46 folks who were able to walk 
away with greater ease after seeing our chiropractor. The ever popular dental
crew were able to repair teeth of 18 patients while another 24 walked away
with brighter and cleaner smiles. We were blessed by the efforts to help 34
folks see what they wanted to read with new reading glasses giving us a 
total count of 177 patients who received the help they traveled and camped
on the beach in hope of receiving. When we add into the mix the 101 
pharmacy patients that brings our February clinic number to 278 folks helped
by all of your efforts. WAY TO GO SAMS!

Enjoy
the video courtesy of Griff

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 2014

It is always a privilege to be such a small part of 
something as big as the Arizona Flying Samaritans.
Ringing in 2014 with our January clinic only reinforced 

that remark. One of the things especially notable this month 
was all of the new faces and the youth of those vibrant providers. 
Having been a small part of the Flying Samaritans efforts for 
some wonderful years it truly makes my heart leap at seeing our
next generation of humanitarians. While it is always great to see 

the familiar faces who have been so deeply dedicated for so many 
years we are all beginning to find it just a little more difficult each 
month at getting energized to put so much effort into bringing help 
to so many people we don't even know. Our examples we can only 
hope will be an encouragement to our youth for the next generation. 
So kudos have to go to all of you who are such great support in our 
leaders of tomorrow.
January clinic saw smaller numbers of patients but not a smaller 

amount of loving care given. With some last minute issues we 
were a bit short on some specialties but those who came stepped 
up to the challenge. With only one dentist able to make it the dental 
numbers of 12 folks seen was great and another 10 patients able to 
walk away with brighter smiles. Our medical staff took care of the 
myriad needs of 38 folks while OBgyn chimed in with another 14 gals
seen, followed up with 15 children taken care of. Tis the
season of colds and flu and our children are pretty much the first to 

suffer as a result. Chiropractor department saw to the needs of an 
additional 65 people and we had 95 folks get their medications filled 
out of our pharmacy. Leaving out the pharmacy numbers for our 
government reporting requirements in Mexico means
the Sams treated 154 folks who would not have otherwise had quality 

medical care. Once we add in the pharmacy numbers that puts us at 249 consultations today. Not bad for the first of the year. And a huge toast
to the rest of the year being even busier than the previous one. Way to go Sams!