Surgery Heinrich/Pond 2019- Day 4

Posted on: 08/01/2019

Author: Taylor Happley

We started our morning off as usual with prayer and morning devotional. Some of us chose to walk and others bused over to the busy hospital. In and out of the hospital people line up either waiting to be seen or to sell their street goodies. The Doctor’s first stop today was in recovery doing rounds with the day’s previous patients.

We were greeted by the biggest smiles. Everyone was so eager to thank the doctor’s and get started on physical therapy. Many felt so good that they were asking to go home! Although many of the patient’s going “home” are long distance travelers and will be staying a while in Casa de Fe before making the journey home. At Casa de Fe they will receive physical therapy treatments from the staff to help prepare them with exercises they can do at home to benefit their healing process. Out of the 12 surgeries held on Monday 6 were discharged on Tuesday.

During rounds the rest of the team is setting up and getting patients prepped for their surgery. Making sure surgical instruments are properly sterilized, laid out, and ready for use.

After rounds the physical therapists begin their hard work getting patients up and mobile. This takes work with patients who are hesitant in putting pressure on their fresh surgery sites afraid that it will cause pain. The physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help motivate patients.

In between cases we snacked on delicious chicken buffalo dip and handmade cinnamon rolls made by our awesome team chef’s Jennifer and Randy. They have fueled the team with yummy snack breaks and sweets all week!

We had an 11-year-old girl named Joseline scheduled on Tuesday. She was in need of care from an accident she endured just a short while ago. Joseline had been riding on motorcycle with her sister while her cousin drove. The bike crashed and fractured her femur. Before surgery Joseline told anesthesia she was scared and asked if she could bring her rosary and beanie baby bear back so we allowed her to hold her rosary and placed her bear in a visual area to see as she fell asleep. In her surgery they had to add an internal fixator to help regain function of her leg. Joseline has a long road to recovery ahead as she will need to work everyday in therapy regaining function of her leg with movements like bending at the knee. When she woke the team was sure to make her feel comforted and piled bear on bear with her in her bed.

Tuesday was a late night for about 15 members of our team. The last case of the day in our trauma room didn’t get them home until 10pm. This patient had a non-union femur fracture, which had caused her leg to become infected. Not only did they have to repair the leg but they also had to put an antibiotic nail inside to fight the infection. She will have to come back in February and if the infection is gone only then will they continue with the final surgery she needs to repair the leg. February will be when the next Orthopedic Surgeon mission team is scheduled to be coming to Guatemala.