Yesterday we completed our first full day in Guatemala at the Hilario Galindo Hospital. Every morning we start with a devotional at 6 am lead by Flavio, our team pastor. Next, we eat breakfast before heading to the hospital for the remainder of the day. Our first devotional was centered around purpose, our sacred journey that led us to this trip and will guide us through this week. We were encouraged to find wisdom in the stories we hear and the people we meet and to remember that it is immeasurable the amount of care and love we will give this week.
Once we arrived to the hospital we were introduced to the hospital staff, followed by a prayer and blessing with the patients our team will be treating throughout week. Next was a small briefing of our individual roles before we began screening, triaging, unpacking, organizing, and cleaning! Our four surgeons, along with translators, headed to the clinic rooms to begin meeting their patients, obtaining histories, assessing problems and creating their OR schedules for the week. The dental team spent the morning screening and treating patients. The wheelchair team spent the day assembling wheelchairs, assessing patients, and fitting patients to their wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches. The rest of the team worked on unpacking, cleaning and stocking ORs, PACU, storage rooms, pharmacy, and prepping each area of the hospital we will be using.
I had the privilege of spending time with various team members, watching our different groups prepare for the week and meeting many of the patients our team would be seeing, all with a unique story to tell. Traveling from near and far, by car, bus, and motorcycle, with large groups or a small family, this will be the first time many of our patients have seen doctors before. Their gratitude was overwhelming. One mother referred to our group as a “team of angels”. It is statements like this that are at the heart of why we assembled here in Guatemala, to give hope, love, and medical care to those who need it.
Overall, Team Mann had a successful day of preparation and is ready to continue our sacred journey that led us here!