Besides the 92 surgeries that were performed by Rotaplast over the seven days we had at Nurture Hospital, there were other great things to do and see throughout the days. Brian and Bo donated 12 prosthetic hands that they brought on the mission to provide to patients that were missing one or both hands. After searching for the first week for anyone that could fit this description, word finally got out around town that we had hands. On Thursday, we had quite a few happy visitors that left with much more dexterity and the ability to write, something they may not have been able to do for a long time.
This man lost both hands in an electrical accident. The accident had happened five years before, and he had been living with no hands since. When Brian strapped the hand to his arm, it was like it had been there all his life. The smile he gave us when he could write his name for the first time was enough to cloud my eyes with tears. He started using the hand so naturally, you could tell it was going to change his life.
All 12 hands were given to appreciative and happy patients and yet another aspect of this Rotaplast mission was successful.
I also found time during our long days at the hospital to visit the school Nasreen started across the street from the hospital. It is a free school for any child that wants to go. So far, she has children in grades up to six, and she said she will add more as her classes graduate to the next grade. It was amazing to walk into a big room and see four classes in session, with children listening diligently, even though there was only a small partition separating each class. The "nursery school" section was the biggest class. It encompassed any child, no matter what age, that was just starting school. They had tiny individual chalkboards and were learning the English alphabet while we were there. Their teacher was a former patient at Nurture Hospital that stayed on to teach at Nurture School.
These students are from the area around the hospital where there are no public schools. Through donations, Nasreen is able to provide a hot meal for students every day. Some kids come to school without shoes, but are successfully learning in such a caring environment.
Tomorrow is our last day, it is clinic day. The surgeons, pediatricians and nurses will check up on all the patients that come back to see how they are healing. It is going to be so sad to say goodbye to all these sweet, smiling faces.