Thursday was our last day of surgery. Today the physicians conducted rounds in the morning to check on previous patients who had not been released yet. Most patients return home within 1-2 days. Any patients that require further care will be seen by the next Faith in Practice team.
One of Dr. Peters’ patients operated on Thursday was Marjolaine, who speaks English, Spanish and French. She is originally from Canada and came to Antigua several years ago with a veterinary team. She now has her own clinic that provides spaying/neutering and other services for pets. She is a young lady suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and Dr. Peters performed an arthrodesis, which relieves intractable pain in a joint.
The rest of the team had the day off to shop and pack for their flights. Some of us visited the Casa de los Angeles orphanage. Dr. Peters is on the board of the orphanage. There are two nuns (who are also sisters), who have been providing wonderful care for children, many of whom are disabled, for many years.
We completed 66 surgeries and approximately 75 dental cleanings!
REFLECTIONS FROM THE WEEK
The synergy of our Team 606 members was exemplary. While the surgeons are the ones who perform the actual procedures, the rest of the team are integral to the process and the success of our trip. Several people wear different hats and serve in multiple roles.
The anesthesia team members prepare the patients for surgery and keep them anesthetized through surgery. They also assist in the PACU as the anesthesia wears off. Our nurses take care of the patients from preop, through surgery, and in postop. We work in conjunction with the staff at the Obras Hospital, who work side by side with us and care for the patients in the recovery wards. The scrub techs assist the surgeons through each surgery.
Kathy, our pharmacist, is also in the OR area helping with medications needed for the patients. Challenges include getting a small child, who is quite apprehensive, to swallow medication.
Debbie, our Team Adminstrator, keeps track of all team members, finances, checking patients in through triage, and then updating records for each procedure. Pastor Dave serves as the team chaplain, leading worship and devotions in the morning. At the hospital, he meets and prays with all the patients before their procedures.
Of course, Patty, our “Dental Team,” cleans teeth throughout the day as well as training patients in good dental hygiene.
Every morning, our cooks, Mark and Katie, get up early to prepare breakfast and coffee. Following breakfast, they leave for the local market with Vilma, our in-country assistant. After shopping, they return to the Quinta to prepare snacks for the afternoon and dinner and dessert. They have a very long day.
Last but not least are those of you who have made donations to this trip. You too play an essential role with Team 606 and without your assistance, the work of Faith in Practice would not be possible.
It was a great week. It went by quickly, but the memories will last a lifetime. We return home with joyful hearts, carrying with us the smiles and love that we received in Guatemala. Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to use the gifts you’ve blessed us with to serve you in such amazing ways.