Day Four Wednesday, August 24, 2011 from Hospital Padre Carollo in Quito, Ecuador.
by, 08-25-2011 at 10:16 AM (1584 Views)
I was so tired last night I fell asleep when I got to the hotel. So this blog is late. lol
Day four was really very successful. We completed another 16 surgeries and we have two “walk in” patients. The mother heard about our mission in Columbia. She and her two children took a 6 hour bus ride to get to the hospital. The first child had a cleft lip and the second had a cleft lip and palate that needed repair. Both children had eaten earlier in the day so we had to wait until the end of the day before they could have general anesthesia.
I have to say that for a group that many have met on this mission for the first time to get along so well for the greater good is just amazing. The mission has 5 team leaders and they are responsible for all the orders and direction for their team. My rusty Spanish is getting put to good use. I had to translate on the walk in cases, give post op and discharge instructions to the parents.
We were also so fortunate to find a young American RN from Minnesota that is working at this hospital for 4 months. She is with an international medical health organization. She has been so valuable to all of us on this mission. She was able to negotiate things we need or little things that came up during this week. She was a hospital insider. Thank you Emily! We are going to get our early tomorrow and see a little of the city if we can and a group dinner.
I received questions from this blog readers and I will answer a few:
4. Is there a fear of being outside your familiar hospital surroundings on your first mission or even on many numerous missions?
Sometimes. This is my first trip to Quito. I don't know the hospital or the surroundings. I do know a couple of the people on the team and that's about it but I know that we will all work well together in any circumstance or setting. That I know for sure.
I read about the places I travel to so I am as prepared as I can be but things happen everywhere.
5. What is a typical OR day or shift time wise? How many cases run in a day?
I love that nothing is typical in the OR. Here or abroad. Sometime we get ad on cases at the end of the day. They hospital may have a patient they can’t treat we will take the case over
6. Are all missions sites the same or are some more rural than others. What is the actual setting of the Mission Site a hospital or tents?
The mission and the work remain true. All else vary from mission to mission. Even the culture of each mission changes.
The first mission you go on is indescribable. I have never known such a rewarding and satisfying feeling as my first mission. It changed my life forever in all ways possible. It was Peru and we did great work all week. I traveled with two friends and we spent a few days after the trip in Machu Picchu. Rested and relaxed we headed home. So much so we missed our flight! Or so we thought. We got the next one out and on that flight a baby went into distress. We had no supplies, nothing. We did all we could with CPR and asked to land the plane but to no avail. The baby died mid-flight. We were helpless and shattered by the experience. We had worked so hard all week on children with no complications and this horrific event happens. It seems we were on the flight we were meant to be. It took weeks for me to get back to my life when I returned.