Our second day kept each of us busy. Rebecca and Carl staffed the registration table. While Rebecca kept meticulous files, Carl made children smile as he took their pictures for our records. Cyndie and Bonnie diligently moved patients and files to different workstations. Our surgeons, Dennis and Wally were the first in line to see the young patients. They determined the priority of the surgery queue. Our caring nurses, Carmen, Joe, Tonya, and Luisa measured vital signs and ensured that the hospital paperwork and Rotaplast paperwork were clear. Pam, our Head Nurse, heroically coordinated and set everything up for the consultations, operating rooms, storage facilities, and recovery rooms.
Brice, Fred, and Ian, our anesthesiologists, and Abha, our pediatrician, met with every patient and made the final decision as to whether or not each child could a handle the operation. Sandra worked closely with both doctors and patients translating their needs, their parents' concerns, and the doctors' decisions. Megan, our Speech Pathologist, spent her entire day teaching parents how to help their children speak more clearly, especially for our patients with cleft palate issues. Carmen, like Sandra, spent her time translating for everyone who needed help, as well as helping Ken, our mission director, with various press interviews.
It was a day filled with excitement and disappointment. We met so many families in need of medical care, all wanting the best for their children despite their lack of financial resources. In the process of their check-ups, our doctors found children with serious health issues that prevented them from operating, including heart problems, colostomies, and serious infections due to lack of dental hygiene. As you may imagine, these families were heartbroken when they learned that their children would not be relieved of their burden during our mission.
To see such young children suffering from these conditions was difficult, but the anticipation in the eyes of the families was heartwarming.
The Oaxacan Children's Hospital was very helpful. Their doctors went out of their way to be of support to us, including lending us a helping hand in cardiology and in their dental wing.
– Sandra Jewett