Almost Goodbye

Yesterday was True North’s last day of surgery for the 2018 mission! Over the past five days True North conducted 38 successful hip surgeries. A new record for the True North team!

It was also a big day for Juan, who took on the stairs with the physio team and passed with flying colors. While walking over to the stairs he said he as in a lot of pain but still wanted to take on the challenge. Although Juan was a man of few words, he thanked the True North team after he was officially discharged and heading home.

Over the course of the five days there were only two patients who had PAO surgeries. One of them was a 22 year old woman named Erika. Erika had previously had surgery on her hip by another doctor, who then recommended her to Manual. Two months before True North’s mission, Erika visited Manual and was told that she needed surgery. She was quite hesitant as she was due to graduate from nursing school in three months. Manual advised her that she was in a limited time frame because of the risk of inflammation as well as True North’s scheduled arrival.

Erika then called Manual a few weeks later after visiting his home and said that she would do the surgery! Erika was an amazing patient and quickly won over the hearts of the True North team members. She was always smiling and was positive throughout her course of treatment. It was a very bitter-sweet goodbye yesterday when she was finally discharged. She told Manual that she is ready to graduate next month and that she has learned a lot from the ward nurses and this was a great experience for her to see them work.

Even though True North finished operating yesterday, the OR team was not quite done yet. The OR nurses, processors and doctors had the tedious task of packing all the surgical equipment today. From the Anesthetists to Orthopedic Surgeons to the Operating Room Nurses, each team member ensured that all surgical items were accounted for.

In-between packing, The True North team also had its ward walk! An annual tradition where every member of the True North Missions team is invited to come to the ward and visit the remaining patients. Each patient is then introduced to the whole team that made their surgery a success. At the end of the day, the True North team is in Cuenca to help those in the need and the ward walk allows everyone on the team to see the fruits of their labor. The annual ward walk is a tradition that is very near and dear to a lot of team members’ hearts.

Tomorrow is officially the last day of the mission! Be sure to check out our last blog post.


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