Sunday Day 1 Triage
After an early breakfast and devotionals the team walked over to the Obras to start a busy day of triage. All of the patients that would be scheduled for surgery this week were already waiting for us in a beautiful inner courtyard of the hospital. Many of them waived as we walked in and some even stood and applauded. Their appreciation was palpable. We all formed a circle and prayed together in Spanish and English for the health of the patients and for successful outcomes of the surgeries that would be performed in the coming week. Then the team quickly organized themselves into their stations for intake, general surgery, and gynecological surgery.
What impressed me the most was the atmosphere of calmness that pervaded. Even though the patients had traveled many miles to get to the Obras, were often uncomfortable due to their illnesses and were surely nervous about their upcoming surgeries, there was no complaining or questioning of how things were being handled. The patients sat calmly and graciously awaiting their name to be called. Many came with family members including small children who they entertained by taking turns walking them around the courtyard.
At one point I passed around a large box of cookies.. The patients all very politely waited their turn, took only one, and always thanked me. If I mistakenly went offered a cookie to someone who already had been served they politely demurred, often sharing a smile with me at my forgetfulness.
Later in the day I was able to visit the Nutrition Center for small children that is also located at the Obras. The babies and children there are severely malnourished, as well as having serious health problems. They are offered loving care to build their strength and bring them up to a normal weight. Some of them will later be eligible for surgeries.