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Today was the second day of the trip and the first day of operations. There are four surgeons and four operating rooms here; each room had five or six cases scheduled for the day. First days are often chaotic but things got off to a smooth start with no serious problems.
For some of the volunteers, this is their first trip. Surgical tech Elisabeth learned about the Faith in Practice’s mission here while working with Dr. Vanderveen in Colorado and immediately knew that she wanted to help. She was all set to come last year before the trip was cancelled at the last moment due to Omnicron. This year things finally lined up so that she could come, and she has been enjoying the chance to be a part of the mission.
Another first-timer is CRNA Amanda. Amanda’s sister, Sarah, is a nurse in Chicago who has participated with this team several times before. The two sisters had always wanted to come together, but on earlier trips Amanda was busy with another important mission—giving birth to her two children. This year, it is Sarah who is expecting her first child. Hopefully they will both have the chance to share this experience with each other in the future.
One of today’s patients is a seventy-year-old bull fighter named Nohemias. We learned about his bullfighting when placing a spinal block before his surgery. When the anesthesiologist asked about the scar on his back, he responded that he had gotten it from a bull. Nohemias was clearly a strong man. The team repaired his hernia and we expect that he will be back to his active lifestyle soon.
Today the group completed 19 surgeries. Each of the patients will stay for at least one night. Tomorrow, many of them will be able to return to their homes and families. It was a long day, but a good one. We will be back for more tomorrow.

-Dave Ferrance


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