Bolivia Update: A Quinceañera to Remember

Rachel, a nurse serving at Hospitals of Hope since September, writes about how the hospital was able to give one patient a special day to remember.


Last month we began our daily visit to “los privados” (three private rooms located in an outdoor extension building of Hospitals of Hope). One patient in one of the private rooms is a girl named Rosalia who was brought to Hospitals of Hope for bettered care as her spine has been struck with tumors and she is awaiting surgery. She has become a sister to us girls as we paint nails, eat cookies, and practice our Spanish reading Psalms out loud. In her room the volunteers and staff have gathered to sing worship songs shamelessly before God and alongside Rosalia.

rosalias-3Rosalia recently completed her 15 years of life. In South America, completing 15 years is somewhat similar to getting married; people celebrate! After many afternoons reading, “chalaring”, movie watching, guitar practicing, and singing with Rosalia; we soon discovered that she was to have her quinceañera in February. After our first night shift in the ER, we ran home to gather our pre-made fun-fetty cake (from the United States), fresh picked roses from the garden, cookies and Coke that the interns pitched into buy, and gift of paints, paint brushes, and canvases that Shelly and I purchased with the knowledge that Rosalia loves to “pintar”. The ladies from the kitchen brought over jello as we all gathered in her room (and outside due to lack of room), to sing, eat, drink, and be merry together. For the first time we met Rosalia’s father and brother who made it just in time to celebrate with us. A few days following the grand celebration it was humorous to discover that Rosalia had never used paints before, and that to “pintar” meant coloring with markers. Although the gift may not have been a perfect match, I am excited to pass on the painting skills of my mother this week as Rosalia and I discover together the beauty of using a paint brush! (Between reading and watching the Narnia series together for a break!)

Please continue praying for Rosalia: She is suffering from pain with tumors along her spine and profound bed sores from being in a public hospital earlier. Rosalia is awaiting surgery which may not be for many months; please pray for healing of sores, her spine, and for her Spirit to be lifted during her time here!