For a mission to be a success it requires a team effort with everyone doing their role, interacting with the rest of the team and being flexible enough to adjust roles because of unexpected circumstances. This is just as important for both the medical teams and the non-medical support teams. Pleased to say that this Monrovia mission is working like a well-oiled machine and adjusting to changes in circumstances and taking challenges in their stride.

In the photo above is Cassi (Casandra) Liberian OR CRNA, Dr. Paul Faringer – surgeon,  Susan Dean – OR nurse, Dr. Joe Anderson – Anesthesiologist

Above is Lois Borie, OR Nurse and Dr. Michael Johnston Anesthesiologist

One absolutely adorable girl that has won the hearts of the whole team is Maracle a darling 2 year old. When Maracle was born she had facial deformities of her nose with openings from her nose to the roof of her mouth, a cephalocele (a protrusion of part of the cranial contents through a congenital opening in the cranium/skull) and no left leg below mid-thigh. She was being cared for by her grandmother, who was also looking after Maracle’s sister when her mother died in childbirth. Despite all these challenges Maracle was always smiling and loved to pose for photographs (see day 1 blog) and skipping around the ward – she had a prosthesis on her left leg and she was amazingly agile!

The radio shows and other publicity had been very effective and patients continued to arrive, unfortunately, some of these people had conditions which the team did not have the resources or equipment to help. This included one poor man who had been walking around on his fractured femur for two months and several Burkitt’s Lymphomas (a cancer of the lymphatic system, caused by the Epstein–Barr virus, occurring mainly in central Africa). For all these patients we referred on to local specialists, gave them guidance on how to manage their condition and if needed connected them with the hospital social worker. For the cases that were not suitable for surgery by our team, we tried to screen them out early so they didn’t spend time going through our registration process. Mark Cunningham-Hill can be seen talking to patients as they arrived in the outpatient area as part of this modified screening process.

Another one of my favorite babies – Diamond who is just getting ready to go home after surgery.

We, of course, must not forget the parents who travel great distances to bring their children, then anxiously wait to find out if anything can be done for them, again anxiously wait before and during surgery, to eventually be reunited with their child in the PACU. As can be seen below the mums are the best person to calm and reassure their post-op children.

And finally a brief bio on a few more team members: