One of the greatest parts of the mission is beginning to see the impact that we are having on the people of Ecuador. The team is here to find and treat patients with the ultimate goal of improving their quality of life, and this also often means there are huge effects on the people around them. This afternoon, the ward was full of family members both waiting with their relative and watching as their relatives took their first steps after surgery. One such patient, Katheryn, had 11 visitors at her bedside when she came back from surgery. Katheryn’s father went out and shook every mission member’s hand when he learned that her surgery was a success.
Yamile, one of our interpreters, who was slated for surgery today had her opportunity this afternoon and was sent into the operating room for her PAO. She waited patiently all day and continued to sit with our team and the other interpreters until she was finally coaxed into her hospital room to get ready right before it was her turn. This afternoon, Dr. Harder arrived from Calgary and assisted Dr. Powell and Dr. Abouassaly with the surgery. Yamile was back recovering in the ward with the post-op nurses later in the evening!
While Yamile and another patient Nestor were in the operating room, the power briefly went out at the hospital. While the outage only lasted about 10-15 seconds, that can feel like an eternity in the operating room. Dr. Lavoie and Dr. Lee didn’t skip a beat stitching up Nestor under auxiliary lighting during the outage. Cool as cucumbers. Moments like today show that the calmness of an experienced doctor is imperative while working on mission.
Tomorrow, we expect to see and interview one of the mission’s previous patients, Freddy. Since his operation, Freddy has participated in an Ironman, finished school and has plans to start a business with his degree in marketing. Stay tuned…