Fascinating day today! I viewed two incredible surgeries. First was a beautiful baby girl with a cleft lip who was 8 months old. I had the honor of holding and rocking her before surgery, I could see she wanted her momma and was scared of all the white faces surrounding her. Finally, she fell asleep in my arms and it was time to sedate her and put her to sleep for her operation. I asked Vanessa if there was a way we could give her the medication without waking her to only put her back to sleep. Of course, she said, so I sat beside the operating table on a chair while the oxygen mask was gently placed on her tiny face. She struggled and cried a little and once asleep, I gently placed her on the operating table. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share the awesome experience. During the operation, the room was filled with interns from Brazil who accompanied this mission, local doctors and our own surgeons from Nova Scotia. We were in awe of the amazing and skillful work of Dr Bourget. We just returned from evening rounds to check on all the surgeries of the day and our sweet little baby was doing well and feeding from her mother’s breast without issue. The next surgery I viewed had a very personal interest to me as it was a 24-year-old female who had breast cancer and was scheduled to have her left breast removed. I told her that I too had one breast removed and that she would be ok. I brought one of my prosthesis with me and will offer it to her tomorrow morning during the rounds if she would like it. Women here do not wear bras so I don’t think it will serve the purpose for which it was intended. As a patient who has undergone a mastectomy this was a very special opportunity to view the operation and hear the surgeon Todd and Louis explain what he was doing throughout the surgery. It was an incredible learning experience for me.
We all know how important and respected surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists are, this team is highly skilled, hard- working and wonderfully respectful people and I am in absolute awe of the compassion and humanity they possess and to be given this opportunity to see such amazing miracles first hand. This team has paid their way to come on this mission and given their time to work through as many surgeries they can for the many African people who cannot afford medical care.
My main responsibility on this mission is to care for this wonderful extended family that we have become ( 17 people ) acting as Den Mother, preparing their meals each day, delivering coffee and water to OR and reminding them to take their antimalarial pills. We ate chicken chili and rice for dinner today which only a crazy Canadian would serve during 40C weather! We hear that Nova Scotia received 24 cm of snow today………may have been a better meal for home!
I don’t think I have been this busy and tired in a very long time!! But it is so very satisfying 🙂
Time for bed…..love to my babies back home….miss you all