Day Six: Children’s Hospital

We visited the Panama City children’s hospital today and talked with two doctors that treat OI in Panama. They both have worked extremely hard during their careers to treat Panamanian children and improve their quality of life. I was touched by their work.

Dr.Mejia head sup the OI treatments in Panama. A few years ago he was basically the only doctor treating the disease. Now, through his efforts and work with the Crystal Kids Foundation they have more doctors treating OI properly and they are helping the children.

The hospital itself was a little run down and there were a ton of people waiting to be seen for care. The patient rooms were not very big and they had up to 12 beds in each. There was not a lot of privacy for the patients.

We saw the physical therapy wing and watched a cute little boy named Jose go through his treatments. I did an interview with one of the physical therapists who took us through all the different areas and told us what they are used for. It was really interesting. She said they also teach families how to conduct physical therapy on their own and in their own homes since many families live hours away with many mountains, rivers and obstacles in the way.

After that we went back to the foundation’s office and finished interviewing the president of Crystal Kids, Dayana. It was an emotional interview for sure. She touched on her own experiences with her daughter having the disease and then talked about her efforts to help the other children of Panama with OI. The more and more I talk with her the more and more she amazes me. She is a fighter and she is constantly fighting to get proper medicines legalized in Panama for these children. She is traveling across the country raising awareness and finding cases of children with OI. It is truly remarkable.

At this point I am getting antsy to go on our tour of the Panama Canal. We supposedly will also see crocodiles, monkeys and other exotic animals. I can’t wait!

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