Juan Ramirez is a Biomedical Equipment Technician III with Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He has always had a passion for service, but was unsure how to best use his expertise in a volunteer fashion. That is, until he encountered Esperança!
In 2017, Juan was invited to join Esperança on a trip in advance of a surgical mission to a hospital in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Because of his unique set of skills and experience, he was quickly called upon to fix three non-functioning anesthesia machines that had been sitting idle for more than two years. While in-country he also calibrated countless other pieces of equipment in preparation for an Arizona-based OBGYN team that would be performing free surgeries at the hospital later that week. From that moment on, he was hooked!
Upon his return to the states, Juan knew there were other ways he could help families in-need with Esperança. So, he approached the procurement team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to secure additional donated medical equipment and supplies for future medical missions, and began regular communication with Esperança’s team to assess the donated medical equipment for overall functionality and usability, ensuring that families awaiting surgery receive only quality supplies.
The following year, Juan was asked to join Esperança on an OGBYN mission to Abancay, Peru, where he helped educate local doctors, nurses and staff on how to use medical equipment for Gynecology Laparoscopy procedures, fixed broken equipment, set up donated equipment to be used for procedures, and went over common failures and how to fix them.
“I know that by doing my small part to help, it affects a lot of people,” says Ramirez. “What Esperança does is helping these communities and being a part of it is so rewarding.”
Juan continues his volunteer efforts with Esperança to this day, and has helped to repair and ship over $500,000 worth of anesthesia machines, ventilators, laparoscopic towers, X-ray machines, and more, allowing thousands of men, women, and children in Nicaragua and Peru to receive life-saving surgeries.
Juan is also instilling a culture of philanthropy in the next generation by mentoring Esperança’s Biomedical Engineering interns from ASU on the weekends, providing them with hands-on training and guiding them through the process of troubleshooting various medical equipment.