Today is Thanksgiving, a day typically known in the United States to gather with family and friends and remember for what we are thankful. For our team members, those helping the team at the hospital, our local host Rotarians, the families we’ve come to know, and our patients it is the final day of surgery.
Throughout the ward, babies sleep in post-op while other children wait with their families in pre-op for their turn. The ward is crowded today as extended family members have arrived with a number of our patients. Families gather around the schedule to see where their child is on the list.
Agnes, our ward coordinator, greets the families and patients, calms their apprehensions, and shares her natural compassion.
Agnes has also set up a play room and brought toys and games for the children to play with. The adults play along-side their children. Play keeps their mind off the up-coming surgery or in some cases the discomfort they may feel.
Pabel, 14 arrived at the hospital today, the last surgical day at noon hoping for a chance to get his lip fixed. Pabel goes to school and hopes to one day become a lawyer. He said that classmates at school make fun of him and call him names. When he tells me this, his eyes turn downward. It’s difficult to talk about. He knows after his lip is fixed, things will get better for him.
His Uncle Abdullah heard from a friend of a friend that Rotaplast was in Sylhet yesterday. He knew to bring Pabel as soon as possible hoping, if nothing else to at least be seen by the team. So early this morning he, Pabel and Pabel’s mother Rahima took the 4-hour journey by laguna, which is a small bus, to get to the hospital. As luck would have it, we had a cancellation today and Pabel arrived at the exact time to get him evaluated, registered and waiting. Pabel was out of surgery by 5:30 pm today.
The look on his face when he sees his face for the first time after surgery says more than words could ever express.