Today we had a very full schedule, and the team continued to adapt to an environment which certainly would have been easier with our supplies at hand. At this point, however, we have done so much without our supplies, we are resigned to soldier on our way…
We continue to be amazed at the strength of the children here. They come to the frightening and unknown world of the operating room without a single tear, hop onto the table, and go to sleep under the mask of anesthesia, as if they had done it a hundred times before. When they awake, they are similarly calm and, often, even cheerful. One boy even came in “high-fiving” the surgeons and asking several questions.
We had a few extra patients show up, and rather than make them wait, we used two surgeons in one operating room to achieve extra efficiency. Most of the patients scheduled had birth defects involving extra fingers and toes, and so our hand surgeon would begin the case and do most of the surgery, while our head and neck specialist would close the wound so the primary surgeon could move on to the next case. This resulted in enough time savings that we were able to squeeze in the extra cases with considerable ease.
At the same time we were doing our cases, we provided anesthesia backup so that our Mexican Rotary colleagues would be able to do their cases, which was a nice way of thanking them for helping us as they have all week, particularly lending us a number of their surgical instruments.
All in all, it was a very good day for our humble effort to improve the lives of the people of Hildago. We did a good number of cases on persons with no other access to such care, with minimal resources, all the while acting as a disciplined and cohesive team.