Church gets surgery for woman with mouth tumor
Director of Central American Medical Outreach attends Salem Mennonite Church.by Central American Medical Outreach
On April 25, an international humanitarian team performed a first-of-its-kind surgery in Honduras to free a young woman of a melon-sized tumor in her mouth. This surgery was made possible largely in part to a generous donation by Salem Mennonite Church of Kidron, Ohio.
Kathryn Tschiegg, executive director and founder of Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO), attends Salem Mennonite. She told the story of Carmen Sanchez Yorleny to the congregation at its annual meeting early this year. Moved by Carmen’s story, the church donated enough funds to cover the surgery, medical team and a future home for this young woman.
The surgery, performed at Centro Medico, a private hospital in Santa Rosa de Copan, was planned and supported by CAMO and performed by an international team of surgeons and nurses.
The patient, 23-year-old Carmen Sanchez Yorleny of Santa Rosa de Copan, who has been unable to speak, eat or smile for many years due to the tumor, has been released from postsurgical intensive care and transferred to a rehabilitation center for speech, physical and psychological therapy. A full recovery is expected.
Salem has been supporting CAMO since it was founded by Tschiegg in 1993.
Through donations, volunteers, service groups and prayer, this active congregation has been a blessing to this growing aid organization in Honduras.
Carmen Sanchez Yorleny was orphaned early in life. Her massive facial tumor started as a small sore when she was 6 years old but went untreated for many years.
By her teenage years, the tumor began to grow rapidly, and her sister sought medical advice and care. Without resources, it was difficult for the sisters to travel or to pay for any treatments. At age 19, Sanchez Yorleny could no longer speak, and it was difficult for her to breathe or eat properly.
In January, she was discovered by a visiting group of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who took a photo and sent it on to an employee of CAMO in the hope that CAMO could help her.
Upon learning about Sanchez Yorleny, Tschiegg set in motion the events that led to the surgery.
Tschiegg has also made plans for Sanchez Yorleny’s rehabilitative care, future education and skills training and change in housing situation.
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