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724 Cahill/Dawson Surgery – Sunday, 4-3-22

First Day in Clinic!

This morning, I had some serious nervous energy walking to The Obras hospital from the hotel. I don’t usually work in a hospital setting, so besides this being my first trip with Faith In Practice, it would be my first time working in a clinic, unlike the rest of the group members. Even so, I don’t think I was alone in my feelings. The chatter, smiles, and lively spirits made it clear that the whole group was excited. Our walking pace was fast and eager, and I could tell everyone was ready to start!

We first arrived at the hospital and found a whole room full of hopeful people waiting patiently for us to arrive. Linda introduced us to them, calling out the names of every corner of Guatemala people traveled from. Men and women started smiling and waving and calling out their own hometowns. Many travel more than an entire day to get here! Their faces were smiling and even teary-eyed to finally reach this moment. Linda led everyone in prayer and then talked about the week. She said to them about us: “Ellos caminan a tu lado con Dios, y Uds caminan a su lado, también con Dios. Dios Siempre está en el centro,” “They walk by your side with God, and you walk by their side with God. God is in the middle.” I thought this was so beautiful. No matter who you are, where you’re coming from, or your role this week is, God is in the middle of everything.

After this, we entered the hospital and were given a tour of the new facilities. The renovated space is so beautiful and friendly! I don’t have prior experience, but the returning folks were incredibly impressed. The thing I like most about it is that the charm of the older building remains. Tropical plants in the courtyards and colonial-style columns, beams, and tile make the space feel quaint and endearing. But the bathrooms, dining room, OR’s, and patient rooms are more spacious and modern than ever before. Many oohs and ahhs told me the team was super happy with the renovation.

After a quick orientation and rule update, we got right to work. The scrub techs and supply vendors immediately started organizing and preparing the OR for surgery tomorrow. The surgeons, PTs, and translators headed over to the clinic to begin triage. I began working with Dr. Granberry, who, by the way, did not need my help with translating. I knew he’d been doing this a long time but was still amazed at his Spanish!

To bring the day full circle, one woman came in with her daughter. Her name was Belinda, and she hasn’t been able to walk well for years on what looked to me like a collapsed ankle. After discussing her options and explaining the risks, her daughter asked Dr. Granberry if he would still recommend operating if there’s a risk of infection. The answer was absolutely! I told Belinda I thought she was in good hands. I was referring to Dr. Granberry; but her answer was “Si, primero en las manos de Dios, y después en las manos del doctor.” “Yes. First in the hands of God, then in the hands of the doctor.” I couldn’t help but think about what Linda had said earlier in the day…

God is indeed in the middle of everything.

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