If you’ve followed my blog over the last year and a half you have read post after post about the heart wrenching lifestyle that comes with living here. You’ve listened (read) as I poured out this heart of mine; and through prayer, words of encouragement, and support you’ve shouldered some of the burden that I carry. The fact of the matter is there are just some days here that are harder than others. There are days that seem like they’ll never end and there are nights when my nightmares chase me into morning.
Sunday was just like that. Jen, Gina, David, Sam, Mike, and I were driving down Suyapa Blvd. (one of the main roads in the heart of Honduras’ capital city: Tegucigalpa) when suddenly a girl fell from the bus ahead of us. We watched in horror as her head struck the ground and her body rolled across the ground before stopping in the middle of our lane of traffic. Jen had barely stopped the car before David and Mike had flung their doors open and ran to the girls now limp form.
The bus driver pulled over and people began streaming off to see what they could do. By the time I got out of the car and near the scene there were more than a dozen people surrounding the girl. David had stripped off his shirt to use on the girl and was leaning over her trying to access the situation. Mike pulled back long enough to tell me she was bleeding quite a lot from her head. The look on his face was enough to tell me I should just stand back.
As everyone searched for a way to help the girl they began to debate whether to call an ambulance or not. I’m sure you are each wondering why the heck that would even be a debate… of course we should call an ambulance. However, things here are much much much different than they are in the states. Since there are only a handful of ambulances in the whole city it can take FOREVER for one to get there. Before the debate got too out of control Jen insisted that we would take the girl to the hospital. So without faltering the guys scooped the girl up to put her in our car.
With no other option and little hesitation I climbed across the seat to help them lift her into the car. Cradling her head in my lap I did the only thing I knew to do…. I prayed. As we made the trek to the hospital I allowed my eyes to take in the sight of her. Her body was covered in scrapes and scratches. There was blood coming from her nose and mouth….. so much so that she kept choking. She had lost both of her shoes in the ordeal and her shirt was disheveled. Yet the thing that grabbed my attention then and has haunted me since were her eyes. They were filled with the deepest look of desperation and fear that I’ve ever seen. They kept rolling around in her head as she searched for help.
Jen pulled into the hospital and within seconds the boys had (what seemed liked) effortlessly lifted her from the seat and onto a metal “gurney.” We got her wheeled into the ER and stepped back as the doctors took over.
They asked that all but one of us leave the ER area so Jen stayed with the girl while the rest of us retreated to the entry way. Once there Gina began using the girls cell phone in an attempt to find someone, anyone, that might know and be able to identify the girl. After 30 -45 minutes of fruitless calling Gina finally reached the sister of the girl. Shortly after that the girls brother and sister showed up and confirmed that it was indeed their sister. They told us her name was Betty Garcia and she was 17 years old. We all felt much better knowing she was being surrounded by familiar faces. After reassuring us that they were capable of paying for treatments and testing we left the hospital with a promise to call the following day. True to our word Gina called early Monday morning and found out that Betty had passed away around 1 in the morning. Her parents hadn’t made it to the hospital before she died. Please pray for Betty’s family. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for them.