Day 2

Well the day began much the same as yesterday with a comedy routine, but instead of Dr. Powell, Dr. Albert was called up to tell us one and only one joke. (Thank God) The shower joke was reminiscent of a “bad” dad joke.

A great breakfast, our T-shirts and name tags, and then off to Clinic for a number of the team to assess patients. The rest went to the Santa Ines hospital to clean linens, sterilize instruments and generally get things ready for the patients and the start of surgery tomorrow. While they had a few minor problems I think by the end of the day most things got accomplished and ready for surgery in the morning. We are supposed to get the first OR at 8:30 am and then possibly up to 3 OR’s by the end of the day – we are keeping our fingers crossed.

The clinic went smoothly this year. Dr. Powell had prescreened 40+ patients on a previous trip so those patients were assessed first and got through the various stations quickly. There were times it seemed that some stations actually had a break part way through the day. That was unheard of in the past. It looks like we have 6 PAO’s and one revision this year plus a lot of hips.

We have a real selection of patients this year from age 11 to an age that they would not be happy if I mentioned. Having seen a few of the x-rays, while not well versed in analyzing them, even I can see that the pain these individuals have experienced must be intense. They have in many cases, lived with that pain for years and in most cases more than a decade. The bravery of these individuals is amazing but there was a lot of happy faces receiving their pre-op instructions from Dr. Manuel. Because they are surgical candidates and will likely get the surgeries done this trip, there were a lot of smiles.

Generally speaking that was true, but there is also real terror. Especially for some really young ones. Lots of risks, but with a good outcome, a much better chance for a meaningful future. The doctors were amazing at answering all the questions posed by the patients and their family members who accompanied them.

In addition to prescreened patients, additional candidates were assessed for the first time today. They approached today with a very stoic outlook but in their eyes you could see the fear that there might not be a surgical solution for them and their current condition might be permanent or worsen.

Please remember to support the Mission with your donations. The impact on the individuals and their loved ones is indescribable.

One of TNMS’s very devoted volunteers shared the following quote and personal expression with his friends and family yesterday upon the team’s arrival in Cuenca…

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” – Herman Melville

After a long flight, we safely landed in Cuenca, Ecuador this morning to begin this year’s medical mission. On behalf of True North Mission Society, we thank you for all your continuous support and generosity! – Michael Vierneza

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