Greetings from Liberia; our team of 19 medical, non-medical volunteers arrived in Monrovia on Sunday night after flying for 24 hours from the US. We were a pleasantly surprised by a warm welcome from the film crew from the US and France who had arrived a day earlier. Even though some of us were jet-lagged and deprived of a good night sleep, we were excited to finally get to know each other over dinner and learn what our roles and responsibilities were for the next two weeks.
After dinner we bid each other good night and off we went to bed. Next morning we were up bright and early, had breakfast at 7 am and then drove off to St. Joseph's Catholic hospital for "Clinic Day". Our first priority yesterday was to set up the rooms to make sure we were prepared and well equipped to start performing the surgeries on Tuesday. Next goal was to pre-screen all the patients that showed up to make sure they were suitable candidates for the surgeries. This process typically involves checking/registering each patient, taking post clinic photos and vital signs of each patient before they meet with the doctors/surgeons for a more comprehensive assessment.
By the end of the day our team had pre-screen 85 children and adults. In the midst of all the screening our wonderful lead PACU nurse Paula Fillari still found time to clean and dress four severe wounds and burns for patients who were referred to us from another hospital.
Today we are pumped and cannot wait to start saving smiles and changing lives!!