After a 30 hour journey from San Francisco, the team enjoyed a quiet evening of Myanmar cuisine, team bonding and jet lag recovery.
Day 2 started with the entire Rotaplast team, including local medical staff, being officially greeted by the Administrator of the Retired Service Personnel Hospital. Our medical director, Dr. Anne DeLaney, a retired Plastic Surgeon on her 18th mission with Rotaplast, and our mission director Brian Walker, on his 35th mission with Rotaplast, shared with the team their goals for the upcoming weeks. And of course, we enjoyed more Myanmar cuisine.
Shortly thereafter, the team unloaded all 35 boxes, 1,500 lbs of supplies to prepare for the intake of patients commencing that afternoon.
The intake process involves gathering pertinent information such as medical history, demographics, vitals and diet. All of this data creates a picture of a patient, worthy of a thousand words.
It is with this complete picture that provide the surgeons with the information needed to plan for the upcoming weeks’ surgeries.
The flow of patients is paramount in running a mission. Diana, our medical records-keeper maintains the patient charts from start to finish, a key role to every Rotaplast mission. Dianna Rios, on her first mission with Rotaplast, has brought to this mission her extreme organizational skills and kind nature. The young patients navigate to her, even with the language barrier.
A local nurse assists the team for all patients entering the ward. She has been an instrumental member of the mission providing translation of everything Burmese, including medical terminology. Rotaplast missions would not be successful without the assistance of local medical professionals like her.
It was anticipated that 150 patients would be coming for this mission, so the team was prepared for a busy day-and-a-half of assessing patients.
Day 3 was a day full of surprises. A nice steady flow of patients was expected after having seen 50 patients on day 2. However by noon, the inflow of patients came to a sudden halt. A bus travelling from afar, picking up patients on its way, was delayed due to monsoon rains wiping out sections of the highway. An anticipated arrival of noon soon turned to 4:30 PM.
However, as on every mission in developing countries like Myanmar, the team learns to adapt to unexpected circumstances and were well prepared to see these additional patients at the end of the day.
Head nurse David Sparks here is pictured with a very nervous young girl during the intake process. David has a natural ability to make all the kids laugh, even with his neck tattoos.
And so tomorrow, the team prepares for its first day of surgeries. The surgeons and nurses are anxious to get into the operating room, into their elements, where the real transformations begin.