As I consider all that has happened in the last two days, a book could easily be written!
Our surgical team continues to give expert care to so many adults and children who would never have access to an operation. They have completed 148 procedures. Yesterday, a man who was awaiting surgery on Friday started having severe pain. He was seen by Dr. Magdi, who diagnosed him with a strangulated hernia, which is a surgical emergency. The elective cases were cancelled, and this man was resuscitated and successfully operated on. I can honestly say that he got to the OR faster than he would have had he presented to any Canadian or UK hospital! What miraculous timing for this man.
The medical team spent the last two days in the remote village of Yaara. The usual 3-hour drive was reduced to 1.5 hours by the “short cut,” which involved a very interesting bridge. I can’t wait to show photos! We received an incredible Yaara welcome with drums, dancing and the presentation of yams, a ram, apples, eggs, and oranges. Some of you will remember the little boy Joshua who almost died 4 years ago with severe pneumonia. His family gave us yams and a big turkey for saving his life. My daughter Olivia received a special presentation of yams and her very own fowl (chicken).
Our days were very full caring for the 1100 patients that were seen in the medical, dental and eye clinic. We also have one surgeon with us at all times to screen hernia patients for next year’s list as well as to deal with any urgent surgical consultations and procedures. Hundreds and hundreds of less sick patients received deworming, vitamins and acetaminophen and eye drops. The clinic is running SO smoothly, with every sector being so efficient and productive while at the same time providing expert and compassionate care. I cannot believe the numbers of patients being seen, especially considering the oppressive heat. Yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year, and even the Ghanaians were hot with the 42 degree temps. (Add a few degrees to the eye clinic who have to cover their windows to create a dark environment!)
Today concluded with our new team members touring the village of Yaara where David and his brother Joseph were sent as orphans when their father died of a strangulated hernia.
Laughter continues to abound in the evenings as we share stories of our day with one another and debrief from all we have seen and done. Stories of latrine mishaps and marriage proposals are my favorite so far!
The team is very, very well. Each day we have 1-2 members D with D (down with diarrhea), but thankfully it is short lived and there have been no serious illnesses. Thanks so much to those of you praying for the health of team members, who are exposed to so many sick people.
Everyone sends their love back home and looks forward to telling you all of the other stories that I cannot fit into this post!
Until next time …
P.S.: Most of us have no internet/phone access in case you think we are ignoring you!