News Release

Saving lives in Peru

Brian and Jane Gough, of the Witham Ward in the Ipswich Stake, recently returned from a medical mission in Peru and were responsible for the medical welfare of about 3,000 missionaries in Peru & Bolivia.  After attending the Provo Missionary Training Centre (MTC) in February 2011, Brother and Sister Gough left to serve a full-time medical mission based in Lima, Peru where there is a population of 9 million. They said, “We really enjoyed being part of the 2,000 strong missionaries in the MTC at that time. It was amazing to see how well organised everything was, like a well-oiled machine.”  Brother Gough was to be area medical advisor for the South America North-West Area, covering Peru, and Bolivia, and liaising with the assistant area medical advisor who had responsibility for the other three countries of the area, namely Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela.  Duties included checking submitted medical forms from prospective missionaries and teaching health principles to a new intake of elders and sisters every three weeks.

As a GP by profession for 30 years Brother Gough was not able to treat missionaries’ ailments but could advise on how to cope or deal with any of many varied health problems they were experiencing.  If unwell, they reported to their Leaders, and if necessary, the wife of the Mission President, the ‘Mission Mum’ who then decided if Brother Gough needed to be involved.

One of Brother Gough’s missionary patients turned out to be the son of a man he had treated while serving in the Air Force in the 1970’s.  Despite the circumstances, it was a happy reunion over the telephone as Brother Gough reported the missionary’s injuries, which included fractures to his spine and collar bone, to his father and soon recognised who he was talking to. The Elder had surgery in Lima and after 2 weeks was sufficiently stable to fly to Utah for rehabilitation.  Brother Gough was so impressed and said: “The Lima doctors did as good a job as they would have in Salt Lake.” This is close to miraculous and a sure sign of Heavenly Father’s love for the Peruvian people as the facilities in the South American countries are generally far less advanced, if available at all, than in the U.S.

Sister Gough always worked alongside her missionary companion and was very much involved in accurately translating from or to Spanish on forms or applications and when presenting workshops in health principles. She also got involved with service projects, once working with sisters from La Molina to make and present 150 baby blankets to young mothers in a hospital.

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