Potential to expand

Dr. Temple travelled to Mount Sinai Hospital today and has been asked to assist an oncology surgeon with a rare tumor surgery – Diana Aspe Ayer, Interpreter is indispensable to him and the hospital is very happy to have his expertise. They request that he attend the mission next year and there will be patients for him to examine and surgeries for him to perform. Our base of support and assistance to the poor could potentially expand, further into the area of oncology, due to local need and request and, of course, the generosity of Dr. Walley Temple.

Dr. Fermor – attended and taught at a local medical school – small attendance today as, unfortunately, a locally well respected doctor had passed away and today was his funeral. However, given the smaller group, the session was more interactive. The medical school has (separate from the mission) invited Dr. Fermor to travel to and present at an international medical conference in Cuenca in May 2015. This is an honour and and he is considering this opportunity to be of further assistance in Cuenca.

Many lives are affected when one patient receives life changing surgery. The immediate and extended families also benefit tremendously from the improved health of their loved one. Each one of our volunteers has witnessed this first hand, as we interact with the patients and their families. Each and every volunteer is valued a great deal by the charity and its supporters. This mission could not happen without our committed volunteers.

Our volunteers have commented on the sense of gratitude and thankfulness for their opportunity to help during mission. A special note about one of our unique volunteers this year: Kaibree Drake. We are so fortunate to have this 22 year old young lady join us – not only is she an invaluable translator, but she can speak, from experience (and in Spanish!) to our patients about what is is like to receive hip surgery. It is a rare occurrence, of course, for a young women this age to receive two hips, however, Kaibree was diagnosed at the age of 13 with a rare, rapid progressing hip disease call protrusio acetabuli where the acetabulum (hip socket) is deep and the femoral head migrates in. The condition affected both her hips quickly…painful (bone on bone) symptoms showed up in May, 2006 and she was wheelchair bound by August, 2006. Fortunately, (or unfortunately if you consider it is not good news to receive…) she had been diagnosed the previous November, before painful symptoms affected her. An incident while playing volleyball had caused Kaibree to seek out medical evaluation when her hip ‘slipped’ out and back in. Tests and specialist appointments led to her diagnosis. Naturally, she and her family sought out many professional opinions for treatment. They opted for Dr. Powell’s care and Kaibree received two total hips which has changed her life completely. She is now a very happy, sociable, articulate and mobile young University of Alberta student. She has an extremely appreciative perspective on life that you do not often observe in someone her age. She is an inspiration for any one going through physical trials. In addition to joining us on mission to Ecuador to share her story with our patients, she has also worked with those age 6 to senior with mental and/or physical disabilities in Alberta in a recreational camp setting.

Thank you, Kaibree for joining True North Missions Society this year. We could see from your attachment and concern for these patients that both you and the patients exchanged the gift of friendship. Along with all our other volunteers, you amicably injected yourself into the process and helped in all stages: from clinic…to the pre-surgery jitters …to the recovery room… to the ward where patients were required to regain mobility pre-discharge. We know it was hard for you to say goodbye to these happy, generous, strong and resilient people. Thank you for sharing your story with almost every patient on the ward – they were made more comfortable knowing your experience was so positive.

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