With each passing day here things are running smoother and smoother. The coming ins and going outs are like clockwork. Dr. Lester Suntay is the coordinator of this mission locally and the Filipino contact on this side of the earth for the World Surgical Foundation. He is an admirable man to say the least and cool as can be under pressure. He has a dry erase board that’s a perfect daily schedule. I asked him today why he does what he does, and his response was simple, “It’s for the patients . . . . It’s my calling.” I totally understood that. With six operable beds remaining full and post-op patients shuffled down for recovery the day keeps moving along.
Today was an emotional day for me. I didn’t come down here with the expectation that working in a run down hospital, in a country ravaged with devastation from Yolanda, and in living conditions less than sanitary, was going to be easy to digest. Every time I walk out of the operating theater and see the families of the patients on the ramp, with huge eyes looking at me for some sort of indication on the progress of their loved one . . . so many emotions flood. First off, I want to hug everyone and tell them in a language I don’t speak that it’s all going to be okay now. But I can’t, because sometimes everything is not going to be okay. We are all doing the best we can every moment, using every supply donated for it’s need, and that’s fantastic. Again, I am beyond impressed by WSF, not just for doing this, but for doing it so vigilantly. Every minute scheduled with the obvious willingness to do anything needed at any moment. I don’t doubt if a trauma case came into the ER, WSF would work it in at no cost and ten times the quality of care. It’s just awesome.
I feel lucky to be a part of what is happening here. Deciding to volunteer on this mission, my second with WSF, was a “no-brainer”. I have an application in to go back to school and start my way into the medical field. My goal is to be a key participant in WSF operating rooms and take on the unaffordable health care in third world countries.