Napa nurse to help with Guatemala wheelchair distribution

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Marta Flores, a registered nurse at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, has been selected as one of 49 Providence St. Joseph Health caregivers to volunteer in Guatemala with Global Partnerships and Faith in Practice.

In her volunteer role, Flores will work with one of the team’s physical therapists to assemble, fit, and provide wheelchairs to individuals with serious mobility constraints. She will work as part of the larger surgical ambulatory clinic, the health care organization stated. The wheelchairs are donated by the Free Wheelchair Mission and are built for the climate and terrain in Guatemala. There is no cost to the patients for the fitting or the wheelchair.

“In Guatemala, wheelchairs are nearly impossible to come by. People with disabilities depend on family to carry them. Sometimes they use wheelbarrows. Sometimes they have no choice but to crawl,” wrote health system Executive Communications Director Melissa Tizon on her team blog as a volunteer photojournalist with Global Partnerships.

When asked why she wanted to volunteer abroad, Flores said, “There is a song in Spanish from a Guatemalan singer that says: ‘Jesus is a verb, not a noun’ and I genuinely believe that. I am excited for this opportunity to serve others with the little that I have.”

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