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.

Santa Marta, Again!

Early Saturday morning, Dr. Manoj T. Abraham and his team of 29 others departed JFK airport for Santa Marta, Colombia. After several months of preparation, countless emails and telephone calls, they are off. Please visit the blog throughout the week as they'll be posting daily stories (as long as the internet connection cooperates). The team will mostly treat children with cleft lips and cleft palates.

Joining Dr. Abraham are: Dr. Andrew Jacono, Dr. William Kennedy, Dr. Arthur Menken, Dr. Aslie Darr, Dr. Augustine Moscatello, Dr. Bruce Chipkin, Nick Schwetschenko, CRNA, Dr. Kalpana Modi, Dr. Dawn Larson, Robin Birchenough, CRNA, Dr. David, Fenner, Dr. Danny Aronzon, Mary Hayden, RN, Ann Critelli, RN, Miriam Lynn, RN, Carol Meken, RN, Debbie Fritz, RN, Chikela Cody, CST, Ann Conboy, RN, Maureen Fink, RN, Bibi Yasin, CST, Donna Matcham, RN, Steve Nargiso, Nancy Aronzon, Bob Conboy, Veeshal Modi, Helen Buhler, speech therapist, Etoile Leblanc, speech therapist, Annabel Clark and Gregory Marano.

This is Dr. Abraham's third time to Santa Marta. There, he and the team expect to treat new patients and provide follow up care to children treated during previous missions.