Friday Afternoon, February 24

**FLASH! Great news! Great news! The report from nurse Rachel at about 3:30 is that the operation went well, Jimmy is doing well, they are stitching him up, and his family should be able to see him this afternoon.

Thanks be to God! ¡Aleluya! Gracias a Dios!**


February 9

Hi Presbytery Friends,

I’m writing this to you to let you know about a patient that will be coming to Hoag Hospital this coming week, courtesy of the Los Ranchos Presbytery and the Bridging Borders Partnership (and a huge miracle and an answer to prayer!).

Jose, who’s called Jimmy, is one of my neighbors here in La Mision. His father is a farmer, and Jimmy is one of I think 15 (grown) kids. Jimmy has a wife, Blanca, and three young children. He also has a serious heart condition called a coarctation of the aorta. This was diagnosed about a year ago, by Sarah, an American woman working here in La Mision as a physician’s assistant. They were in the process of trying to receive treatment at the General Hospital in Tijuana, but had begun to realize that the type of surgery needed was far beyond the resource capacity of the hospital there.

Last fall, I happened to meet Sarah at a birthday party, and talked about Jimmy’s situation, which I had known about, but not the severity of. She said at this point what was needed was a miracle. I said that, being from Newport Beach and part of the Los Ranchos Presbytery, I had a few connections with Hoag that I would follow-up on.

That led to a conversation with Don Oliver, as well as with Fritz Westerhout at St. Andrews and eventually on to Rick Afable, CEO of Hoag. We got Jimmy’s chart info sent to the right folks to review. That was back in the fall. To be honest I thought that it was very unlikely, given the complexity of the surgery as well as the expense, in addition to the fact that Jimmy needed an emergency medical visa to even come to the US in the first place.

The amazing news is that last week we found out that Hoag has agreed to do the surgery! It is truly a miracle. It is still a very serious and life threatening surgery, but it is the only chance that he’s got to see his kids grow up. Being born on the ‘wrong’ side of the border made that unlikely. But now, out of the amazing generosity of Hoag and grace of God, he’s got a shot.

Jimmy will be heading to the US on Monday for tests on Tuesday and Wednesday. At this point the surgery date has not been set, but they are expecting that it might be as soon as Thursday Feb 23. We are working on getting housing provided for the family members who will come up to be with him, as well as meals so that they do not have to incur the cost of buying food each day.

Please, as you gather for worship this week, remember Jimmy and his family, and keep them in your prayers…


Erin Dunigan