Monday, April 19, 2010

Surgical Day One- Santa Marta, Colombia

We arrived early Saturday morning, and spent the day recovering from the red-eye flight and planning for the busy week ahead.

On Sunday, we hauled 58 bags of medical equipment, supplies, and donated materials to Hospital Universitario Fernando Troconis. Upon arrival, the Unima volunteers ushered us in and hopeful children and their parents and grandparents awaited our arrival.

The team saw 102 patients on Sunday. Soldiers provided entertainment
for thepatients and their families as they waited in the hospital's open-air lobby,
while team members provided balloons, which kept the children occupied
during the day-long wait. Return patients freely greeted doctors and nurses

with hugs and kisses as they checked in for follow-up visits and procedures.

The first patient of the week to be treated was 6-year-old Valentina; she came in with a growth on her upper lip, and left groggy and crying for her mother, but with a reconstructed lip. She would be followed by a steady stream of children, ages ranging from 6 months to 7 years, shuffling in an out of two oper
ating rooms and a recovery room. By the end of the day, 17 children were scheduled for procedures.

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