With the first “cuts” scheduled for 8 AM and fighting travel weariness getting to the hospital, we needed the operating rooms ready and the line of scheduled cases already waiting brings me to tears. I see the first little boy getting a massive cleft lip repaired and the parents beside themselves for this opportunity, free plastic surgery and his returning home handsome and complete with aftercare meds in hand.
All the while, Dr. Alvear, who is gifted beyond words, working his magic on an esophagus, never even left the operating room. His brilliance with pediatrics leaves him at the table from start of day to finish. No break. No lunch. I feel a part of something so much bigger than myself and anything I can do. Contemplating going back to school to be a nurse or other career in the medical field. It’s impossible not to feel this way when lives are being saved with tears of gratitude.
Around 11 o’clock I see a patient on gurney coming up the hallway holding the large intestine outside his body. This is a case from the hospital’s ER with the patient waiting 8 hours without as much as a diagnosis. I watched the eyes of Dr. Peter Rovito and Dr. Karima Fitzgerald light up and with one local surgeon on call the World Surgical Foundation surgeons scrubbed in. With four more hands, this man who waited hours in the waiting room with bowels in his lap due to a botched procedure a few days prior had his surgery revised and everything intact within 45 minutes. I love this stuff!!!
I even witnessed one of our anesthesiologists, Dr. Asuquo “Eskor” Inyang, mopping the floor himself to get an OR ready speeding up the turnover rate. After only the first day coming to a close WSF, thanks to all of the volunteers, donations, and medical supplies is filling up the PACUs (Post Anesthesia Care Units). Neurosurgery has an unprecedented 13 surgeries scheduled, while previous mission have only had one or two neurological cases. Maybe they just didn’t know their problems could be fixed by working on the brain alone. Dr. Ostdahl and Dr. Payne have their hands and minds busy this week with all of these cases.
I am amazed and so impressed at the work being done here. Tomorrow will be another day reporting on the legendary work that is the World Surgical Foundation.