Thursday, March 10th Live Blog:
It’s only 11:20AM here, but we’ve had some touching moments already. Healing after spine surgery is a mental and physical experience.
Pain is sometimes too much to bear. Back to rest with pain medications and a first walk later. We need to remember he was bed-bound for 2 weeks until we treated him. He’s a brave young man.
We started the day as usual with a very interesting lecture from one of POP’s medical team. Here is Brian McCarty delivering a resident round on the benefits of Neuromonitoring during surgery.
Heading into surgery can be frightening. Jessica, one of POP’s neuromonitoring technologists is bilingual and comforts her minutes before leaving for the OR.
The love of a mother’s hands moments before being wheeled to the OR for scoliosis surgery. This is Abigail. She received one round of scoliosis surgery during POP’s first mission. Today’s surgery will hopefully complete all of the treatment she will need. She’s brave to go through this intensive procedure again.
A girl walks back to her room while her mother looks on with amazement! Melany was tall to begin with, she’s inches taller today.
Moments like these are golden. Smiling comfortably hugging her POP teddy bear, who she generously named “Mady Luna” after POP’s co-founder and Santiago spine surgeon Dr. Miguel Luna.
Another reality check moment. POP’s facility improvement project this mission trip was to renovate the cast room. Here you can see why. The hospital does not have a working cast saw. Patients are being told to soak the casts in water and then return where staff can try to help remove it for them. Here we see a patient on the floor, outside of the cast room (because it’s undergoing renovation) and a friend helps cut the cast off with wire cutters. This leaves much room for infection. We know that our shipment arrived at the port during our visit and will soon be at the hospital. The cast room staff will have both an electric and a backup manual cast saw in the hopes of preventing this in the future.
Mid-day we had a very interesting Nursing lecture by ICU nurse Jennifer Felber on Fluid Balance post-surgery. The local nurses were incredibly engaged and everyone learned a lot from each other.
Burning the mid-night oil, POP staff members head back to the cast room to work on decorations prior to the shipment arriving so the room is ready. Here POP’s co-founder, Dr. Madelyn Stazzone (also a Pediatric Radiologist) and POP’s Director of Marketing, Lisa Simani-Oren (also a nurse) paint the background of our mini-mural. It’s late, but the positive energy of the day and of our patients and friends here give us all the energy we need!
With everyone’s work done for the day, we wait for our mini bus to collect us from the hospital to take us to our home away from home to change for dinner. It’s late, but everyone is hungry.