After the initial mad rush at the hospital to move, store, and organize our equipment….set up the operating rooms, and prepare for the opening screening clinic….the days settle into the surgery schedule. After making sure the doctors and staff have what equipment and supplies they require, the Quartermaster is usually tasked with running errands, delivering messages and keeping everybody happy.
If there is downtime…I love to go to the recovery room or PACU. Often the nurses there need someone to hold the children after surgery while they take all of their vital signs and comfort them as they awake from anesthesia. Holding these precious infants after their miraculous transformation is magical. Some awake gently and dream-like amazed to see some strange person in medical scrubs holding them….they stare in wonder. Others awake in a writhing fury….squirming in every way possible…making the tasks at hand challenging at best. But every now and then….something happens that puts everything in perspective…if the timing is just right…you get to be the one that is given the gift of placing the child back in the arms of their mother.
As you can imagine, the frightened families have gathered the courage to bring their children to a large hospital and put their hopes and dreams in the care of the Rotaplast team. They have waited for hours through the multistage clinic screening process, awaited their appointed surgery day….then the longest wait of all…surgery. Then….all of a sudden, someone summons mom from the waiting room…she is dressed in a gown and brought into PACU. She is seated in a chair…then her beautiful darling is placed in her arms. Invariably, there is a hushed amazement….and emotional release…and tears.
When the tears of joy start flowing, they are contagious. There are very few experiences that can compare to this moment.
Chris Brannan, Quartermaster