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Elida Edelmann had a very specific goal, right from the beginning.“The idea was to save lives,” she said. “I never wanted to send clothes or shoes.”Edelmann grew up in Girn, Ecuador, a small town connected to the city of Cuenca by only a very steep and very treacherous road.Despite a high occurrence of mud and rock slides, local rescue workers do not have the equipment they need to help victims in fatal accidents – accidents that don’t have to be fatal.Edelmann and her family have lived in Los Alamos for several years, but she has never forgotten her roots.In the 1990s, she worked to provide the hospital in Girn with the equipment it needed to listen to the heartbeats of babies in the womb.She said she was motivated to do so after, in the absence of such tools, doctors had had no way to know the fetus of one of Edelmann’s friends had died. Consequently, her friend died as well.Because of her successful efforts to supply the hospital with life-saving ultrasounds, members of the Girn Fire Department wrote to Edelmann of their need for what is commonly known as the “jaws of life,” hoping she could help.“They had to drive 45 minutes away to use rescue equipment,” Edelmann said.
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