Day 3

The day started out dramatically different today as it was the first day of surgery.  We were up at 6:30 AM for breakfast with the hope that our first OR would be available at 8:30 AM. In past years the doctors reviewed the planned procedure and let the various teams comment on their risks and concerns as they discussed each patient. They did that again this year.

The surgeons are amazing with a scalpel, but my recommendation is do not let them play with laser pointers. The good news is no one was blinded by lasers, and we did not get any calls from the Cuenca Airport that pilots had been blinded by a ground-based laser.

Another breakfast, good hot coffee, and a plan to take our team photo in front of the hospital at 8:00 AM with our T-shirts and name tags on. Almost everyone made it, and the team photo was taken with a couple of different cameras.

As a result of the breakfast discussions the first PAO’s planned for today were postponed. Consequently, the first surgery did not really start until after 10:00AM, but all things considered we did amazingly well and completed 9 procedures today.

I had the pleasure of visiting almost all areas of the team work today including pre-op, surgery, post-op, recovery, the ward as well as processing and decontamination. I was able to see some of the patients, their families and the life-changing work our talented surgeons and medical staff perform. What this amazing team does cannot be fully described.

These patients come to the team with problems that seem hopeless to them and are beyond their resources to fix. Everyone of these medical professionals “gives their all” to give these patients the best outcomes and the most comfortable stay that a surgery of this nature can be. They go home with the opportunity to live a different life of their choosing without the dependence of relatives or friends.

Today a young lady came in with her husband and infant daughter – a beautiful little angel with a big smile for us all. This was a follow-up PAO from 10 years ago. The hip looks as good today as the day the surgery was performed over 10 years ago. She is able to do everything she wants to. Changes in her life include that she is now married and has children. For this young lady, life has taken a direction that would not have been possible 10 years ago.

A young man was operated on today, not yet an adult, and both his hips are bad, but the worst hip was fixed today. His life was changed forever due to a serious motor vehicle crash a couple of years ago and he gets around on crutches. His mother and sister were there today to welcome him back up to the ward today with the biggest of smiles.

I could talk about each one of the surgeries today, but a common theme exists with all of them. They are scared to death of the surgery because it is a major surgery, they have endured much pain, but they trust in God that the True North Mission team is bringing them an opportunity that they would not have without the Canadian professionals that are giving of their talents and time.


In Canada we have what I would call first world problems. What to have in our coffee at the local coffee shop? — What to wear today? — What to do this weekend for fun?

Here for some of the poorest of the poor we see them struggle just to get around.  They are dependent on relatives or neighbors, —- They can’t afford an x-ray or the post-op care they may need and are willing to delay the surgery, and live with the pain longer to avoid financial stress to their loved ones. Fortunately, True North Missions’ work is all voluntary and we will provide the financial support they need.

Remember — “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others” – Albert Schwietzer

Our Latest Mission Update

We need your support!

Learn how you can help support True North Missions Society.

Support Us