Saturday, April 2, 2011

2nd day of screening!

            This morning we got to sleep in a little…6:30! Woohoo! When we got to the hospital things moved pretty slow. Roy, one of our program coordinators from Kenya informed us that by tradition, Kenyans usually have Saturdays to them selves and do more religious affiliated things. This explanation helped us understand why there were much less patients throughout the day.
Our first task assigned to us was to print out the pictures from the patients yesterday. These shots placed in their individual medical files to help identify the patients in the future when they get surgery and for future research studies. The printing of the picture took pretty long since the printer was pretty slow.
            Right after our first task was completed, we were assigned to make “no-no’s” for the surgery days. These cardboard rectangles will go around the arms of the patients so that they wont be able to touch the area that they were treated on after surgery.

            We had a patient come in from the Maasai tribe. She had very large holes in her ears and beaded earrings around them for decoration. Her baby had a cleft lip. They came from a four-hour walk along with another four-hour buss ride. A young man from the Peace Corps came over to the hospital to meet them there in order to take them back to their tribe after the little boy has his surgery.
            There was one little girl who came in, Jane, who had a burn on the back of her head the size of a tortilla. Her mother had braided her hair so that the burn was less noticeable. The little girl was beautiful but very shy and did not smile once while she was with us. The doctor came over to see if he could do anything for her. Unfortunately the procedure for that kind of burn could not be achieved in the amount of time that we are here. As the mother got up to leave after hearing this, she started to cry. This hit something inside and five of us started to cry as well. This was probably the lowest moment of the mission so far. Just being able to feel the mother’s pain of not being able to make her daughter that much happier.
            After lunch, we saw these two girls come in, Marcy, age 7, and Rachael, age 9, who were adorable in their matching braids, and later we would see how much personality and curiosity these two little girls had.  We sat in the waiting area with them for a little while decorating foam visors before they went into surgery, then when they came out they were so excited to do more activities with us.  We introduced them to Latifa, a girl of 8 years old who was waiting for her mother to be seen.  The three got along really well, and we had the pleasure of listening to their beautiful voices sing.  We also taught these families about dental hygiene, and by the end the girls were joking around with the pictures on our posters.  After blowing lots of bubbles, putting on tons of stickers, and coloring several pages, the girls came around and gave everyone a big hug and thank you.  Marcy, Rachael, and Latifa were truly a reminder of the joy of a simple act of kindness that can brighten a person’s day.  They made our day with their songs, and hopefully we gave them memories to cherish.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like your second day was a bit more "challenging" emotionally when you feel helpless knowing you just can't help everybody. When selection time comes when the team chooses who gets surgery and who doesn't... that will be very difficult for you both. I really like reading your posts!!! Keep them coming. Dr. Sims