A medical mission trip to Brazil carries over to the U.S.

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

Hattiesburg, MS(WDAM)- A Hattiesburg Doctor and his family went beyond the call of duty on a recent medical mission trip to Brazil.

Maureen Ballare has seen her parents, both in the medical field, help people on a daily basis and a recent medical mission trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil shows that passion to help people has been passed down.

"We went down there and we had a medical clinic in a small grocery store as well as a team of construction workers to build a church."

Maureen says, it wasn't until the last day of the mission that she was approached by Valdisa Santos, a woman who had volunteered to work with the mission as a Secretary.

Santos, has a prosthetic leg and asked if she could have any leftover medicine to help treat infected sores on her severed limb.

"She took off her leg and showed us, it was just infected and I thought she was so selfless in putting everybody first. It was a humbling experience ."

Santo's lost her leg in an accident at age 11 and says she got her first prosthetic leg when she was 15yrs. old and has had several more over the last 25yrs.

"It's been about five years since I have had it replaced and it has caused a lot of open wounds."

That's because she's outgrown it and could not afford a new one.

When Maureen learned the extent of her problem, she decided she wanted to do whatever it took to help.

"She just was putting everyone else first when she was the one who really needed the help so when I came back to the States I wanted to help her. I talked to an organization I.F.P.D and they wanted to help out. So I  raised money and we brought her here."

Since she has been in the States, a number of Pine Belt businesses like Methodist Orthotics and Prosthetics have pitched in to help make everyday life easier for Valdisa.

Methodist employee Keith Frost says, "it makes you feel pretty good, whenever she smiles and gives you the thumbs up, that's the universal sign for this is good."

"Valdisa says, she loves to walk and after trying her new prosthetic for the first time she realized that it wasn't going to hurt, she said it's just marvelous."

With only a few days left in the U.S., Valdisa is going through physical therapy to get used to her new leg and Maureen is still raising money to send her home without worries or infections.

"You can tell she is not in pain, she is thankful about everything we have done. Maureen says, she cannot stop saying thank you to everybody she meets so she is just a good person and I am glad I could help her."

If you would like to help you can go to IFPD.ORG

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