An 8-year-old boy had suffered a fall down a cliff and had lung contusions and complete paraplegia. It was necessary to perform a dorsal spine scan immediately to assess the existence of a fracture. We were told that it was impossible to perform the test because the child's family did not have the money to pay for it. Without thinking twice, the members of the mission decided to pay out of their own pockets for the scan. When we received the results and after carefully examining them, we saw it was possible to resolve the boy's fracture with the technical means available to us and give him an opportunity to recover strength in his legs. We were all overjoyed!
Later, an angry discussion between the child's relatives and some doctors made us fearful. Apparently, the child's relatives refused to let us operate on him. They believed that the anesthesia was going to kill him ... Or so they had heard. After calming everyone down and postponing the operation, hours later, we returned to see the child. He had disappeared! The family had completely refused to consider the option to operate and had taken him away.
It is sometimes like this, and despite the anger, frustration, helplessness and desolation, you realize that you are in a different country with different people, and even if it is difficult, you must learn to respect their beliefs.