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Surgery In A Suitcase

Becoming a Routine

I’m losing track of the number of surgery trips we’ve made, but I believe this is our 6th trip (Feb 18-25, 2017). I know we have done 175 cases (35 cases per trip) so far in the five previous trips.

There are several new things on this trip – only one newbie. For the team of 10, nine people are returning. Of the nine, at least four have made every trip which includes our fearless leader, HFHF Surgery Trip Coordinator Shirley Wrinkler.

As we sat this morning having “D-day” breakfast it was great for me to announce that our goal (mine and Shirley’s) is to be invisible. For that to happen we have to continue to give the team an opportunity to lead. Team US and Team Haiti. So as the team presses on we will be intentional in ensuring that Shirley and I become invisible.

But the most amazing thing this year is that this “surgery in a suitcase” is becoming routine for our team at Hope for Haiti Foundation. Although the challenges of performing medical procedures in a remote community with limited infrastructure remain, the teams’s sheer determination to provide this desperately needed medical service serves as a catalyst to overcome any challenge.

Day 1– Around 8:15 am we had our first patient on the surgery table, male, hernia repair. Our next patient is already getting IV fluids for her surgery-hysterectomy. The diagnosis is that she has a fibroid that is the size of a 16-week old embryo. No wonder she’s in constant pain!

There is calm. There is little hustle and bustle. There are smiles. It is becoming routine. The years of planning and coming to a decision to undertake this initiative in Bainet, Haiti is paying off for our community. We have a full team of volunteers ready to rerun in Sept 2017 and Feb 2018. We are at a point where we are turning volunteers away or putting them on a waiting list, which is an amazing problem to have. There are some of the core surgical team members who are already giving Shirley the stare of ”don’t you dare take my name off the next trip!” Like I said – we have a great problem.

So our work continues. It continues because of your amazing partnership and collaboration and support-prayer and financial support. They both are needed.

Pray for our team to be in good health and for strength.

We will have a great week!

See you back in the states!

God Bless!
Elade