Healing Hand, Healing Hearts

By Desi Stephens

One of the most vital elements of the program offered at Dorie’s Promise is the medical care provided for children under the direction of Dr. Francisco Castro.

A pediatrician for 30 years, Dr. Castro earned his medical degree at the University of San Carlos and has done post-graduate work and taught in Guatemala and England.

“I base my professional practice and life on Christian and bio-ethical principles,” he says. “I always wanted to work for poor and defenseless children—and now I have the opportunity.”

He says health treatment is always a concern with children, but especially those at our homes because they come from a deprived background.

The most frequent illnesses Dr. Castro encounters are bronchitis and rhinitis, upper and lower respiratory viral infections, gastronintestinal problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin problems.

Before arriving at Dorie’s Promise, a few of the children develop obesity and dental problems. The current challenge Dr. Castro and his team face is helping each child recuperate from existing situations as quickly as possible so the children can attain high health status.

Dr. Castro defines that as reaching an appropriate equilibrium between life’s four primary aspects: biological, psychological, social and spiritual.

“We assess every child’s growth and development and watch it regularly,” he says. “Preventive measures are a priority. When a child becomes ill he or she is diagnosed as quickly as possible and treated to avoid further complications and risks.”

Most children who come to Dorie’s Promise are suffering from different illnesses. Many stem from poverty, such as poor hygiene, lack of nutrition and affection, or abuse. Some suffer from respiratory or skin problems, or gastrointestinal disorders.

However, good medical care resolves many of them and we are able to see our contributions make a difference in their lives.

“This unique opportunity to serve forgotten children makes us grateful to God,” Dr. Castro says. “We feel contentment, satisfaction and the determination to continue fighting to achieve excellence in our system of care.”

The doctor notes that children are particularly vulnerable since their immune systems are not fully developed, making them prone to allergies and infections.

Among the many joys he has seen in treating medical problems are children experiencing breakthroughs with syphilis, symptoms of HIV, and psychological traumas from sexual, emotional or physical abuse.

“Pray for God to give us wisdom and strength to achieve our aims and purposes— especially to imitate Christ,” Dr. Castro says.

This compassion shows how the kind of care and treatment offered at Dorie’s Promise goes deeper than a stethoscope.

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