When we arrived this morning, I heard one of the parents use the word k’extajik. I asked one of the nurses what this meant and she explained to me that the mother speaks K’iche, the Mayan language of Guatemala, which is spoken by the Kʼicheʼ people of the central highlands. Kʼicheʼ is the second most widely-spoken language in the country, after Spanish, with over a million speakers.  What the mother was saying to the nurse was that she was grateful for the work Rotaplast was doing in her country and that she was eager to see how her son was going to be k’extajik/transformed. If you are interested in learning more about the K’iche language, check out this k’iche/English dictionary: https://www.taterenner.com/engkiche.pdf 

Today was the first day of operations! Our day started in the pre-op ward where Daniel DeSanta, our Infection Control Officer Nurse Nan Madden checked on each patient to clear them for surgery.

While the children wait for Nurse Nan, ward coordinator Colleen Wynne plays checkers with them to keep them busy and relaxed.

Some of our patients were too busy to leave their game, so Nurse Nan conducted the pre-op exam while they played. This approach really helps with the pre-surgery stress and anxiety children may have.

While the pre-op exams are being conducted, the rest of our team is busy preparing the operating rooms, double checking the schedules and printing out patient information. Each member of the team plays an important and vital role to ensure that each operation is done safely, successfully and efficiently.

Here is Leslee Hamilton, who is in charge of the medical records. Leslee receives and enters in all of the patient information received during clinic, pre-op, during surgery, post-op, and instructions for post-op care.

Leslee and the rest of the team work very closely with our quartermaster, Jaime Chavez, who prepares all of the items necessary for each team member, from paper for the printer, to medical supplies in the operating room.

Head Nurse Paulette McHugh and OR Nurse’s Catherine McCullough and Yipi Yang, with assistance from the staff at the hospital, help prepare the rooms for our first patients.

Next to enter the OR room are our anesthesiologists, Dr. Charandip Sandhu, Dr. Puya Hosseini and lead anesthesiologist Dr. Mark Singleton.

Next, Dr. Angelo Capozzi, our medical director, and Dr’s. Hootan Daneshmand, David Morwood, and Milton Solis start the operation.

After the surgery, the patient is taken by Dr’s Hosseini and Sandhu to the PACU where our lead pediatrician Dr. Gregory Shay, Lead PACU Nurse, Paula Fillari and Nurse Melanie Buoncristiani, take care of the patient throughout their time in the PACU.

Its been an incredible day and our doctors have k’extajik/transformed many lives already!