Today is the last day of surgeries here at Santa Ines! At breakfast this morning it was hard to believe how fast the mission has gone by as we reviewed the plan for the upcoming day. So far, we have completed 34 surgeries and discharged 16 of those patients. Today we are at capacity in the ward with post-op patients and our final group of pre op patients awaiting their surgeries. We have 10 patients slated for today, and are hoping for another smooth day like yesterday. The surgeons and anaesthetists came up to the ward this morning and visited a few of our post op patients including Nathaly, the 14 year old girl who received a PAO yesterday.
Word of this mission travels across Ecuador and even into other countries. One of our patients this year travelled 6 hours from Peru to have the opportunity to be seen by our doctors. She received a total hip replacement and was discharged yesterday. This morning, a 9 year old boy and his father travelled 8 hours from their home in the jungle south of Zamura, Ecuador just to see and talk to our doctors. The boy was born with no thigh bone and half a shin bone. Despite these challenges he still walks 45 mins back and forth to school each day and plays soccer with his crutch. Something as simple as giving him a new crutch to replace his current one that is too small and falling apart along with a little physiotherapy expertise will make a huge difference. Seeing the boy and his father this morning and how far they came just to see the doctors and a chance at some help demonstrates just how desperately some people need this mission in order to get access to help.
While we are at capacity in our Ward right now, we expect to be discharging a few patients today as the surgical portion of our mission comes to a close.