Sunday, December 7, 2008

Whew! I am tired! Medical Teams, Medical Teams and More Medical Teams!

Eye Teams Next Week!

This whole year has been a whirlwind! It has been medical team after medical team after medical team, but the year is winding down and just 5 more days of medical teams to go this month. Monday morning and Tuesday morning, we will have several cataract patients come to Tegucigalpa from the Department of Valle, Honduras. If all goes as planned we will perform 9 surgeries on Tuesday and 9 more on Wednesday. The Tuesday patients will return home on Wednesday and the Wednesday patients will return home on Thursday. On Wednesday, I will head to southern Honduras again with the eye team and we will have 3 days of eye exams in three medium sized villages. Friday afternoon late we will return, hopefully having identified 30 or more cataract patients which will receive surgery in January. My goal is to completely eradicate cataracts in Valle, Honduras before 2012.

Ear, Nose and Throat Team Last Week

Last Thursday a SMART Medical team arrived in Tegucigalpa from Seattle, Washington and Eugene, Oregon. We had a wonderful time in Choluteca Hospital. It is always great when a team flows and when the people are homogeneous. This team was just that! Everything flowed perfectly until we arrived at the airport 2 hours early and found that the return flight would be two hours late. Seems that bad weather in Newark delayed the flight to Houston which delayed the flight to Tegucigalpa which in turn bumped my people from their original flights to later flights. I hate the NEW KIOSK check-in things at Continental. I miss the contact with the kind Continental Airlines people.

After the team arrived on Thursday, we drove to Choluteca where we had an entire GANG of ear reconstruction patients waiting for us. In all we completed 10 ear reconstruction surgeries. These surgeries are usually three phase surgeries, most of the patients were ready for phase two. They (the patients and mothers) have all become friends and in typical Latin style, they all sit around and have a reunion while waiting for surgery. The previous patients tell the phase one patients what to expect and are generally very friendly with each other. This time was no exception.

Above one of our returning patients.

To the left, one of our return patients having her 2nd phase surgery along with the team. Genevieve Burgoyne, Dr. John Burgoyne, our beautiful curly headed patient and to the right Ken Riebeling, CRNA.


Dr. John Burgoyne also performed surgery on one patient with a deviated septum and another with a goiter. Ken Riebeling, CRNA did all the anesthesia for each case. In all 12 patients were helped and we all left feeling happy about what was accomplished. American missionary to Honduras, Mike Rudd, donated several Bibles which were passed out to each of our patients. I left the 2 extra Bibles sitting in a box outside the operating room in the Pre-Op area and would you believe someone stole the two Bibles. It never ceases to amaze me the things which happen in Honduras.

Horn Heaven!

The horn on the FORD truck died and went to "horn heaven" during the week. Ford horns are made to be used a few times a week in the USA and I use the horn a hundred times a day in Honduras. It is impossible and I do mean IMPOSSIBLE to drive in Honduras without a horn. The truck horn had a long and productive life, may it rest in peace! While the medical team was busy at the hospital doing surgeries, Jose "Cobra" went and replaced the horn.

The absolute necessity for a horn is just another example of the difference in living in Kansas and living in Honduras. I doubt I blew my horn more than 5 times a month in Kansas and I use it 50 times a day here.

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