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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2009-08-10 11:30:13
Subject: Gerardo's Transplant

Dear Friends,

          Thank you so much for supporting Gerardo during this year of trial for him.  A lot of difficult things have happened which God has used for good.

          Gerardo has had to forego a year of school because dialysis demands that he travel to Tegucigalpa three times a week for dialysis. Jose's brother Antonio escorts Gerardo to dialysis. The trip begins at 5:30 AM to catch a bus and ends around 7 PM when they return. It has been during these trips that we've discovered that things aren't near as bad concerning the government "coup" as the press is reporting. Even though they travel to the capital where most of the protests have been, Gerardo has never missed a day of dialysis.

           Gerardo and his mother had to reconcile their relationship. In Honduras, the first and sometimes only place to look for a compatible kidney is the biological mother. In America, a really close match is not required because a lot of anti-rejection drugs are available. The problem is that the drugs cost around $2500/month, equivalent to the combined monthly incomes of 12+ average Honduran familes. Here, a much closer match is required for financial reasons. Gerardo realizes that his mother Ada has probably the only chance to live. He comes home often talking about friends he's made at dialysis that have died because they have no donor. Worse yet, some of them have gone through all of the compatibility tests with their mothers; have been found to be compatible but the mother is not willing to donate. Dialysis is not a substitute for kidney function. Dialysis is artificial life support and it only works for so long.

          Jose's mild and meek brother Antonio has stepped up to the plate concerning Gerardo's care. There have been many times when he has had to face off with doctors or nurses concerning Gerardo. His duties with Gerardo have also afforded him the chance to continue his education. He works here during the week and goes to high school on the weekends. Like so many Hondurans, he did not have the opportunity to attend school as a child for financial reasons. He is now in his early 20's and enjoying school. Antonio now lives here during the week because it was difficult to coordinate his 6 AM rendezvous with Gerardo at the bus stop. He has also proven himself trustworthy and we've seen his close relationship to the Lord. Without these qualities, he would not be living here.

         We have one financial challenge with Gerardo's care. While the country of Spain pays for kidney transplant surgery here, Gerardo will require a nurse for upwards of a month following the surgery. The nurses at the public hospital are on the government payroll, which is not a good thing. The nurses don't normally get paid. So, the hospital is asking for $1300 for the care. If we show the correct paperwork, we might be able to get that reduced to $800. Aside from that, someone will need to stay in the city most of the time Gerardo is there so that he can have clean clothes, food and water.

        Right now I want to give praise to God for all the support his people have given for Gerardo. We could not have done it without our good friends and our home church of Restoration Church in Euless, Texas.

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