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By: lottadigital
May 25, 2012

What a good and frustrating day.  We managed to do our big case, the very large cystic hygroma, which was great, but cancelled the rest of the  day because we had no oxygen…. What….cancel our day…. It was so hot, most of us, except, Pam Paul and Joanie went for a nap…. Wow felt very guilty that these 3 guys kept on going… way to go, that was wonderful.  As Paul said we have to be careful what is being sent, too much high tech stuff will never be used, so we will have to be even more careful about what we send down.  The high tech stuff may have to go to Brazil.

It is interesting that the hospital is not as busy this time a year, why??? The roads, the rain that has destroyed areas???  So we had a chance to meet with the Father, the CEO of the hospital.  We had good discussions on how to help and what needs to be done, the problem is money.  The lack of systems, or organization is very obvious.  I was asked to make a report that I will do on this mission and what we have done as changes and what we feel needs to be done.


I think there is a need to get systems in place and get them organized, but a week is hard to get all this done, it will take some time.  There are many changes that have been implemented since the last time, the OR rooms are cleaner, the drapes are on the patients while they wait, the sharp containers are being used… but small baby steps is what is required.


Surgeries and what we see is amazing, sequella of thyphoid fevers, very largecystic hygroma measuring 9 cm in diameter, in the neck, extending to the clavicle and posterior and anterior to the midline, having to dissect the internal jugular, carotid artery, vagus nerve…Alex and I operate together like we have always operated together, it was great.  All head and neck cases are mine (primary surgeon) and all abdominal are his, then we exchange.

It doesn’t matter what we do, we both learn from each other which is great.  I have assisted others which are not as confident and when you have to take the lead on some issues, you wonder about the quality that is available here when we are not here… We have so much to teach that way…and they are open for our suggestions which makes it great.

Very hot night, hard to go to sleep… let’s try..good night

– LB


It’s so HOT!!!!! I think it’s something like 45 degrees today, everybody in the hospital  is dragging there feet.. The morning started off well with a big 4 hr surgery large Hygroma on a 13 month old baby. This cyst was the size of a baby’s head growing on her neck amazing the things you see here… Baby is doing well and is recovering with her parents. The rest of the day was pretty much a waist…The hospital ran out of oxygen so we had to cancel the remaining of our surgeries… Its very frustrating when you come here with a goal and there seems to be road blocks everyday. Not as many consultations, not as many patients in the hospital and that’s ok don’t get me wrong. But we just feel like the purpose of our mission is ???

Joanie Pam and Paul kept busy this afternoon by cleaning the basement of the pharmacy where the supplies we sent in Sept. are kept.. Believe it or not our container that shipped and arrived in early May is still at the port in Cotonou??? I don’t understand… I’ve been getting the father to call everyday and the same answer is given “ ah maybe you will get it tomorrow” this is not helping us at all… so many supplies in there that we could distribute and make good use of..

Pam and I got some African dresses made by Natalie, she’s Benoit’s wife , he’s a nurse anesthesiologist in the hospital. They are very bright and beautiful. So Pam and I paraded our dresses this evening.. but its to hot to keep them on… Mom will love these!!! Can’t wait to show her.

Ok I’m off for a cold shower.. Everbody is sitting around the table playing poker and chatting. Joanie is cracked up laughing its funny to here her..lol  What a great group.

Night all

– Judy

Thursday already, the time is going so fast.  And this experience just keeps on amazing me.  Todays surgery in itself was a life experience that I would never get to experience at home.  Really most people would not get to experience such a surgery because it just would not get to that point.  For me getting to see the anatomy up close. Louis and Alex work amazingly together.  The hygroma that they removed today was about 9cm.


The rest of our day got cancelled do to no oxygen. So we checked on some of the previous patients before heading home for lunch.  The two typhoid patients are still alive but not so well.  Our patients are all still doing well.  We then dropped by the nursery to see the babies. They are so small and so beautiful. Not as many there today.  Some went home and at least on did not.

After lunch Joannie , myself and Paul went down to the basement of the pharmacy and started to organize the endless about of stuff down there. That has been donated plus our container from last time. The people here don’t know what to do with the stuff unless you show it to them.  Judy usually has to explain to them what to use it for.  So if we don’t do it.  It will sit there until we come back. So hopeful our container for this trip will arrive before we leave.

We had lots of good laughs down there Paul was hilarious.  Joannie and I were cracking up at his remarks.  It was very hot down there and very dusty so after about 3 hours we came back to get a much needed shower.  And cold drink!!

Anybody who has been thinking about doing this,  think no more you will not regrets. The time or the money it takes to get you here.  And if you are unable to come yourself consider making a contribution in another way.  It truly is a great cause.  These guys are making a huge difference in this small village and these people are so grateful.  What ever you give will directly make a difference right here now.

Now it is time for bed.  It is very very hot.  Sleeping will be hard.

– PC