Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II
Every month the Blue Water Grill, here in San Pedro, Belize, picks a different fund-raising project and matches a certain amount of the funds raised from their guests.
December through February, for example, were dedicated to raising funds to refurbish Boca del Rio Park’s playground equipment — and they collected $10,234 to make it happen. They recently raised funds similarly for playground equipment at Central Park in downtown San Pedro.
This month, the popular restaurant has set a goal of $8,000 to buy a new electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) diagnostic machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic, our only public medical facility on the island. Blue Water will match the first $2,000 raised and plans to continue this program into April if the whole $8,000 isn’t raised this month.
This is huge.
I know heart trouble. A year ago, I had a stent inserted into an artery. Most recently, a very dear Belizean friend was airlifted to the mainland with a severe heart problem that might have been diagnosed right here with the proper equipment.
With heart problems, time is always of the essence.
I am thrilled that somebody is turning this community’s immense charitable impulses toward a project that will benefit all islanders. The PolyClinic is a government operated facility that was originally launched by the local Lions Club to fulfill a badly needed service on the island. The PolyClinic does not charge for its services and it welcomes all — residents, expats, visitors.
Secondly, I am a huge fan of the PolyClinic staff. Since a recent operation in Merida, Mx., I have been making regular visits to the clinic. I find the staff professional, skilled and deeply caring under often demanding circumstances. Not long ago, the PolyClinic expanded into a 24/7 operation, augmenting staff and services to meet the needs of this growing community.
They, in turn, need — and deserve to have — lots of badly needed modern medical equipment and medical supplies.
When I found out what Blue Water was up to, I immediately went to the cashier’s desk and dropped money in the donation box.
I urge you to do the same, if you are on the island! Even if you aren’t planning on enjoying dinner or a drink at the beachfront bistro, drop by, drop some bills in the box and drop a few compliments on the community-conscious staff!
If you are not here, but hold an affection for Ambergris Caye, why not contact Blue Water Grill and press the “donate” button to show some #islandlove?
My friends have heard me speak of this in the past: I would love to see a regular fund-raising campaign for the PolyClinic, in the spirit of our two biggest island projects — Saga Humane Society and the local Red Cross. Both fulfill strong needs here on the island with the help of regular fund-raising events.
How can we tap into this powerful charitable impulse for the benefit of our only public medical facility, which services everyone from the island’s poorest resident to the most advantaged?
The pain started somewhere low in my throat. My breathing became shallow as the pain slowly oozed like black molasses across my chest and down my left arm.
My first thought was: “OK, this isn’t in our Belize Playbook.” Read the rest of this entry »