Day 5

Today was the third day of surgery and it was another extremely busy day. Again, there were 10 procedures – 8 hips and 2 PAO’s. The TNMS team continued to have access to 3 OR’s.

I am not sure the mission could succeed without the special contribution of the Santa Inés Hospital. It has been one of the top healthcare providers in the South of Ecuador and has been serving the people of Cuenca for over 50 years. There is a wall of awards it has received and deservedly so. (see included picture in today’s Blog). Santa Inés is a pioneering medical institution and has been a leader in open heart surgery, hemodynamics and highly complex neurosurgery and has a range of services such as: laboratory, pharmacy, cardiology unit, imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, hemodynamics, specialized operating rooms, auditorium, parking for visitors, cafeteria, and medical offices.

Without the access, generously donated by the management of Santa Inés, we would not be comfortable providing the complex procedures that go on during the mission. We have been able to trust and rely on the capability of the staff on both the wards and the ICU. The fact that they so capably care for our patient’s post-op allows our team members to return to their hotel rooms at night knowing their patients are in good hands giving them the much-needed rest they need to take on the cases that are presented to them each year.


A total of 17 patients have been discharged and have now gone home. The halls are filled with patients practicing mobility and the relatives visiting or here to pick them up. There are lots of smiles and thank-you’s to the doctors and staff helping on the mission. They even want to thank the doctors in spite of the fact that they are down in surgery. Many will just wait to leave until they can see the surgeon who operated on them to thank him.

We had what we hope will be a minor inconvenience late in the day that stopped the start of one surgery. The auto clave sterilizing machine went down late afternoon and consequently the current batch of instruments and future batches are held up. Of course, this happens to be a holiday weekend so repair technicians are hard to find.

The last planned surgery had to be postponed until tomorrow because there were no sterilized instruments sets available for the surgery. Another special thanks and recognition must go to the ladies in processing. Their devotion and diligence over the years has resulted in an infection rate significantly lower than even the best industry standards and makes the jobs of the remaining team members much easier.

The mission team is getting tired- these are long hours — up early to get things ready for the first patients, the surgeries, the post op care, the ward care and physio. Often the ward nurses and processing groups do not get back to their hotel room until late. Our team leader and the surgeons spend countless hours planning for the next day. Everyone seems to move a little slower, but the smiles never dim, the patience they exhibit never waivers, and the care and commitment seems to grow each day. I am in awe!!!!!!

“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Our Latest Mission Update

We need your support!

Learn how you can help support True North Missions Society.

Support Us