Why Do I Go On Medical Missions To Peru- Steve A. Mora MD

by Steve A. Mora MD

People always ask me why I go to Peru to do medical missions?

I go because….my first 7 years of life were spent in Peru. I share a bond and a culture with the people of Peru. Although it was only the first  7 years of my life,  it was enough time for the culture and language to be impregnated into my being. Within those 7 years I was in a terrible car accident. I was a trauma patient in Peru. I was hit by a commuter bus. Both of my femurs fractured. The right one became infected. My knees were badly damaged and deformed. As I got older my knee problems worsened. After my accident , I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to this country and received the finest orthopedic treatment at Shriners Hospital in LA.  Through the help and support of my family, and many great doctors I recovered. My legs aren’t perfect but they have held up pretty well.  My knees, hips and ankles hurt every day; but compared to people less fortunate I am doing well. This life changing experience was probably the impetus for me going into the field of medicine and becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

Although it’s been a long time since my last surgery, I still remember what it was like to be a patient.  I still remember the sacrifices my family made for me. And I’m very aware that I’m pretty lucky to be here.

Being involved with the Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS)  allows me to give to others what I received as a child. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on several medical missions with  PAMS.  These experiences allow me to provide specialized care for a highly impoverished group of people.  The people we help are the poorest in Peru; yet they are kind and genuinely grateful.  I feel comfortable and I get a lot out of these trips. Two years ago while on a mission in Moyobamba Peru  I took care of a young boy who had been hit by a car, fractured his femurs and was now dealing with an infected leg. It reminded me of my own struggles, infections and surgeries after my car accident in a Peru. I helped him and his family as best as I could; just like Shriners had helped me. So why do I go on medical missions? Because I know I can give back to those who are less fortunate. I have a cultural connection with the people. It reminds me of the reason I went into medicine.  Lastly,  because I get a lot of personal satisfaction in return. That is why I go to Peru.

-Steve A. Mora, MD

Orange County Knee, Shoulder and Sportsmedicine Specialist

Pictures from our past PAMS Huancavelica Medical Mission.  Huancavelica is located 11000 feet above sea level.  Our flight lands in Lima Peru.  A 10 hour chartered bus ride gets us to the city of Huancavelica.  The length of the mission is 2 weeks.  Volunteers pay for their flights and food.  I hope you enjoy the pics.


 

 

 

Author
Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center

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