POP just completed it’s 5th Medical and Educational mission trip to Santiago, Dominican Republic and treated 7 children, 6 with scoliosis, and took on our first trauma patient – a 17 year old boy with a spinal fracture due to a motorcycle accident. We also held 8 lectures, 4 for the doctors and 4 for the nursing staff. Despite some challenges, we were also able to give a little love back to the hospital. We blogged about our trip live on Facebook, but you can read all about our journey in this blog recap that follows each day. Thank you to our many donors for your support. Without you, this trip would not be possible.
Day 1 Recap:
Today (3/6/16) was our prep day. We all assessed our work areas to ensure we had what we needed for our first surgical case tomorrow. We readied the OR, ICU and discussed plans for the cast room renovation. (We had trouble connecting to WiFi in the hospital so we will blog when we can.)
Challenges: Our large shipment of medical supplies that we were expecting to arrive during the week will not be delivered until after our mission. We will need to work around that expectation, but we can improvise!
The POP team 2016 on arrival at Hospital Infantil Regional Universitario Dr. Arturo Grullón. The suitcases you see here, do not contain our personal belongings. Rather, they contain the many supplies needed at the hospital.
We stopped on the way to hospital to purchase fans as there is no air conditioning in our unit. Today it was extremely hot and the fans will keep the patients and volunteers cool. We also bought pillows for the kids, hospital gowns, drinks and more for the kids – thank you to our donors for making this possible!
A welcome sign for us and our 5th medical mission.
The 2016 POP team on arrival at the Hospital Infantil Regional Universitario Dr. Arturo Grullón. This is what we bring with us in suitcases: medical supplies and surgical instruments (for each surgery we bring all of the rods and screws needed to straighten the curved spine of a child with scoliosis, bone marrow putty, and more), blankets, pillow cases, teddy bears, items to help the patients feel like themselves again (combs, brushes, etc), coloring books, board games, movies, portable DVD players, hand sanitizer, lotion, and basic snacks for the volunteers all thanks to the many donations of our generous supporters.
While POP is a non-denominational organization, we are an inclusive organization and have supporters and volunteers from all backgrounds. These are prayer blankets made by 4th graders at Immaculate Conception school in Missouri! Thank you to the children who made these! Thank you to our ICU nurse Elizabeth Seebeck for coordinating these items!
Blankets for our patients arrived from our Ambassador Michele Carter. They are set on the beds ready to use! The hospital doesn’t have blankets and so families must bring what they need. POP tries to help, and we can with generous donations like these!
Beds are set with pillow cases donated by a St. Louis area Brownie troop and bed covering (for mid mattress) hand made by Sandy Hamm. Thank you Sandy! Pillows are purchased locally by POP, thanks to donations made on our Web site.
POP volunteers ICU Nurse Beth and Anesthesiology team Dr. Rich Nigro and Assistant Brian Ho team up to take medication inventory for tomorrow’s first surgery. Beth has been with us on every mission!
Yvette López Adams, our Director of Development and Operations, was able to get many items donated, from medical supplies to goody bags full of fun things for our patients to enjoy. Thanks Yvette and thanks to our many donors!
Our operating room is ready for tomorrow morning and POP’s first patient of Mission #5.
This is a street scene on our bus ride to the hospital.