Wednesday was much smoother in the hospital. We weren't over-run by children and families and the medical team spent the first hour getting ready for the first day's surgeries. Since I took the patients' "before" photographs, I was looking forward to spending some time in the recovery ward and seeing the patients "after."
Many of us brought coloring books and crayons and various toys from home for the children to play with while their were waiting for surgery. It proved to be a great distraction for them as many of them were nervous about what lay ahead in the "sala de operaciones." As the sometimes crying children were carried by a member of the medical team, their parents followed – equally anxious, but excited too.
After one mother saw her 15-month daughter following surgery, she began crying and saying, "She is so beautiful" over and over and expressing how happy she was. Those in the room got choked up, realizing how valuable the work we do really is.
Anthony, the boy who had the bullet in his shoulder, was scheduled for surgery on this day but doctors were unable to go through with it because he had a bad reaction to the anesthesia. They suspected he had a case of bronchitis and placed him on antibiotics. Hopefully they will be able to try again later this week.
As I mentioned, I was able to spend a lot of time in the recovery room and see the children post-surgery. Usually not at a loss for words, all I could think (and sometimes say aloud) was "wow!" I would look at these patients, remembering what they looked like just the day before, and after just a few hours, they were completely transformed. It was only day one and I knew that more "wow" moments were to come.