Hello, VI Aesthetic blog readers. Samara Khalil here.
I am the proud little sister of the CEO and CCO of VI Aesthetics, Marya, and Farah Khalil. I am currently finishing my last year of undergraduate study at UCLA where I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology. I am an aspiring medical doctor who is just a few short months away from applying to medical school. Over my past four years, I have become involved in many different organizations that have contributed to both my personal growth and my growth as a future medical professional.
One organization that has been completely pivotal to my development as a future medical care provider is Global Medical Training (GMT). GMT is an international, non-profit organization at UCLA that provides free medical and dental services in developing parts of Central America. GMT is able to distribute free medical care through the continued support of compassionate donors who support GMT’s mission and services. My most recent trip was very special to me because another one of my most dear organizations (spoiler alert: it’s VI Aesthetics) was able to get involved and contribute to the fulfillment of GMT’s mission.
VI Aesthetics is now an official GMT donor and provides the organization with priceless medical supplies. On this past trip (December 2016), VI Aesthetics donated a long list of items that either went directly to the Masaya hospital in Masaya, Nicaragua or were distributed directly to individuals in our clinics which we set up in different Nicaraguan communities daily. The donations list included:
- large bottles of hydrogen peroxide and triple antibiotic ointment to disinfect wounds
- boxes of gauze to assist in surgery preparations and wound cleaning
- face masks to ensure a sterile, surgical environment
- adult multivitamins to ensure that impoverished individuals receive a fully nutritious diet
- children’s gummy vitamins to treat childhood anemia and keep the kiddos healthy, too
- Clotrimazole cream to treat fungal infections which are common in rural villages
- Tums to assist in the population’s widespread gastritis caused by acidic foods in the Nicaraguan diet
- Ibuprofen to manage pain caused by a diverse set of maladies
Although we fortunate Americans may deem these supplies as the “bare essentials”, anything helps in under-served, rural Nicaraguan communities. The Masaya hospital is in constant need of medical donations because the country’s spending budget does not lend enough room to have a full-time, fully-equipped hospital. The half-indoor, half-outdoor hospital was built in 1980 and remains exactly the same. Extra beds, without curtains, are squished into each room while stray cats and dogs can be seen roaming the hallways. The surgical supplies will assist doctors in hundreds of operations and swiftly help in treating hundreds of patients for weeks to come.
One woman, Ramona, showed me and my cohort of UCLA students just how deeply the donated medicines can affect one person’s life, too. Ramona came into to a GMT clinic where students and doctors took care of her medical complaints and sent her home with medicines. Later in the day, when clinic was over, Ramona invited me and my friends into her home. She grabbed my hands and told me how thankful she was that we chose to come to her village that day. She told me that she had been praying to God and hoping that she and her loved ones would receive help in coping with their pain. As tears rolled out of her eyes, I exploded in a crying spell and ensured her that we would come back. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness that not only am I so lucky to be in good health but that I am a part of two organizations that made this woman’s prayers a reality. Knowing that a company that my father started could donate medicines to people like Ramona made me feel fulfilled and proud to be a Khalil of VI Aesthetics. Before I left, I had to give her a gift so that she remembered us.
The bedazzled VI Peel shirt I gave her is so much more than a bedazzled VI Peel shirt- just like the medical donation supplies are so much more than medical donation supplies. The very act of outsiders paying attention to and springing to action for communities that feel otherwise neglected speaks levels. The compassion of strangers reminds these in-need individuals that they are important, their lives do matter, and people do care about them. This shirt will hopefully remind Ramona that she has friends across the sea thinking about her and her kind family.
I am more than thankful that VI Aesthetics could be a part of such a meaningful mission and magical moment. Thank you to everyone at VI, especially Marya, Farah, and Dad, for working hard and making the world a little brighter.