For over two decades, the Moskito Indians who live on the east coast of Honduras and Nicaragua have suffered decompression injuries when using scuba equipment to hunt for lobsters that feed U.S. and European markets.
Honduran Dr. Elmer Mejia has treated thousands of cases of Moskito Indians with severe decompression illness including exceptional paralysis and incontinence. Often, the divers were carried into his clinic in Puerto Lempira, Honduras and were able to walk out under their own power several days later. Most had residual symptoms but were not paralyzed.
Needless to say, Mejia’s treatment protocols fly in the face of conventional wisdom for treating decompression illness, often beginning days after the injury with tremendous success. His success in many of these cases is nothing short of miraculous, and Mejia purportedly has patient records, case histories and in many cases follow-up examinations on each of these divers.
Consequently, Mejia is working with two nonprofit organizations to compile his patient records in a way that his work can be analyzed and used for extensive research. He hand-wrote his patient records using paper and pencil, data which has to be entered into a computer for analysis. Mejia is working with the U.S. nonprofit Chronic Disease Registry and the U.K.’s Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC) in Plymouth, England.
A GofundMe crowdfunding campaign has been set up for donations to go to the Chronic Disease Registry, which will subsequently distribute funds to the DDRC in England as they prepare the database and analyze the data for future publication. They will also distribute some of the funds to Dr. Mejia to support him while he does the painstaking work of translating and recording the data.
The results of this research could revolutionize the care for injured divers and others who need hyperbaric treatment for wound care.
Donations to this fundraiser will help improving the care divers receive after an injury while helping to improve the lives of the indigenous Moskito Indians who have long been exploited for their ability to dive and their lack of other choices to support their families.
For more info, check out the video below or go to the campaign’s GoFundMe page.