The Duck that Saved a Life

The CHOICE Humanitarian In-Country teams are faced with new challenges daily in working to end poverty. Recently the CHOICE Guatemala team met a mother who had walked for hours on end (starting at 4AM) to bring her daughter to the Nueva Concepción Hospital at Sikaabe. The night before, her toddler daughter had suffered third degree burns so severe that her skin was misshapen on her face. The staff recognized that the burns required extensive medical attention and insisted the mother take her daughter to a large hospital in the nearest city. The mother, heartbroken, told the CHOICE staff that she could not afford to pay a doctor. She did not have any money to offer; all she had was a duck.
 
The mother was determined to sell the duck to pay for the cost of a doctor, but the CHOICE team knew that the duck was only worth a portion of what it would cost for medical expenses. The team told the mother they would like to buy the duck from her. They gladly paid three to four times the actual price and quickly took the mother and daughter to a larger hospital. A few months later the mother returned to Sikaabe to tell the CHOICE team that after a month and a half in the hospital, her daughter was doing well.
 
As the CHOICE team reflected on the experience, they recognized that if the woman had been in a different region, she would have likely never been able to find medical treatment for her daughter. The duck now roams throughout Sikaabe without fear of ever being the next day's meal. The CHOICE staff will not let any harm come to it as it now a famous, life-saving duck!

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