This post is first in a series of blogs highlighting our year’s events and storylines. A lot has happened this year in our shop, and we want to share those stories with you.
As some of you may know, we have filmed content for Cleveland-based non-profit, MedWish International, in the past. Their purpose is to receive and package discarded medical equipment and supplies to ship for use in developing countries. As part of their 25th Anniversary, we filmed this awesome story for their Gala held two months ago.
To begin this story, we would have to go back to June of this year, where a group of volunteers flew to Honduras for a medical brigade, bringing supplies and services to locals who need it the most. There, they came across a man in a wheelchair named NoeAntonio. NoeAntonio has cerebral palsy, which was prominent as he had a hard time sitting up in his locally-donated chair. His mother has the biggest challenge because she has to push him around the rural town they live in with no paved roads and buildings that were not accessible friendly. It would be important to mention that his mother is on the shorter end of the height spectrum but seems to have inhuman strength as she lifts her son from his hammock to his wheelchair every day. For a group of volunteers at the brigade, they knew something had to be done. They temporarily placed straps around his torso and attached it to the chair for support. It was fine, but they knew they needed something more. This is where the generosity of MedWish came in as well as where our filming journey began.
After a gig in southern Georgia, we took an early morning flight out of Atlanta to Tegucigalpa to film NoeAntonio and his mother receiving a specialized wheelchair donated by MedWish. This wheelchair differed from the standard one he was sitting in. It had a head rest, leg support, and most importantly, a built-in harness to prevent him from slipping out. After surviving the infamous hairpin turn to land in the short runway at Toncontín airport and meeting with our liaison, Cato, we made the two-hour drive to the village where NoeAntonio and his family lived. Along with the new wheelchair, we came with a pick-up truck full of supplies, such as a shower seat and ankle braces. All the supplies came from donations made to MedWish.
What made this moment even more special was that fact that NoeAntonio’s family had no idea we were coming that day, which was quite serendipitous. It was evident that his mother was overjoyed with happiness, stating that we were the only people to come and help her. When she lifted NoeAntonio from his hammock to the new chair, there was a bright expression from him, as he was now not limited from just looking up. It was just amazing to see that a “dated” piece of equipment that has no use back home was a treasure for someone outside our country. That is the work of MedWish.
Just being in the moment and capturing everything that went on was awesome. Even flying our DJI Mavic Pro 2, which we had our concerns doing in the first place, was exciting. Our biggest challenge was only having 24 hours in the country to film and only three days to edit the final piece to show at the event. It almost felt like we were competing in The Amazing Race, only there was editing to complete before the finish line. For the 24 hours we were there, we wish we could have stayed more. After filming, we stayed at an orphanage where a group from Indiana was helping out for the week. Sure, we could have stayed at a fancy hotel closer to the airport, but it was worth hanging with the people volunteering there, as well as exploring the orphanage and nearby clinic where MedWish supplies have been donated. On our end, it was a very rewarding experience to be a part of, and we are thankful to everyone at MedWish, as well as the Sociedad Amigos de los Niños for giving us this opportunity.