Esperança Helps Nicaragua Woman Receive Much Needed Healthcare in the United States

a  46 year-old woman from Nicaragua, who desperately needs surgery for an ureterovaginal  fistula that resulted from a very difficult surgery, performed by volunteer surgeon. She will travel to San Francisco courtesy of Esperança, an international nonprofit whose mission is to improve the health and well being of the world’s poor and the Lion’s Club of San Francisco .  Upon arriving, she’s scheduled to receive pro-bono healthcare from Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.


The surgery, equipment, supplies and doctor’s time will be donated by Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.  Esperança will cover the travel costs and any transportation and while the patient is in the United States. The patient will remain in the San Francisco area for approximately three weeks.  During her recovery period, Kaiser Permanente will provide follow-up care.


Dr. Diane Sklar, a gynecologic surgeon, who has volunteered her time with Esperança for seven years will perform the surgery with Dr Arturo Martinez , a Kiaser urologist.   She has completed eight volunteer medical missions outside of the United States with Esperança and is passionate about giving back to those less fortunate.


Dr. Sklar completed a medical mission trip to Nicaragua in May 2012 and met this particular patient for consultation.  She learned that the Nicaragua doctors were unsuccessful in attempting to repair the patient’s fistula and due to the difficulty of the procedure,  and availability of specialized equipment at Kaiser, Dr. Sklar recommended she come to the United States for the final procedure to repair her condition.


Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança notes, “Dr. Sklar and her team are committed to the poor and uninsured regardless of where they are from.  This woman has lived with Massive fibroids in her uterus for more than seven years.  The fibroids were symptomatic and made her look 6-months pregnant and has made her a social outcast in her small village.  She has never married or had children Dr. Sklar’s willingness to provide quality care to her in the United States is her only hope of being cured.  It’s truly remarkable what Dr. Sklar and her team are willing to do to help.”


“In our country there has been much discussion and debate about our healthcare system. Whatever your beliefs on that discussion are, we still have the best healthcare system in the world.  The families and children that we see in the developing world have either never seen a doctor before in their life or as in the case of this woman, the system in her home country is not capable of helping her,” added Egan.


The Kaiser Permanente team will consist of Dr. Sklar, Dr. Robert Karoukian, anesthesiologist, who has done 3 trips with Esperanca in both Bolivia and Nicaragua and Dr. Martinez, urologist.  The estimated value of this donated surgery is $50,000 and an additional $5,000 in travel and lodging costs.


The patient is scheduled to depart on Jan. 17 and the surgeon will take place in San Francisco on Jan. 22. Dr. Sklar will be available for interviews.  Should you want to attend, please contact Lindsay Hansen, PR Consultant (480-205-6195) or Christina Araiza, Esperança Program Director (602-252-7772 EXT. 104) to make arrangements.


If you are interested in sponsoring a medical mission trip through Esperança, please contact Jared Leslie at 602-252-7772.

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