We spent the entire day in surgery today. This week, the surgical team is addressing problems that range from gallstones to uterine prolapse. Many of the surgeries are by the book, but due to unavailable equipment or the ill health of patients, our surgeons sometimes have to think outside the box. We’re lucky to have doctors and nurses with the knowledge and experience to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.
I asked Steve, a gynecologist, what has surprised him about his first trip to Guatemala with Faith In Practice. He said the pre-existing health conditions of patients who come to Hilario Galindo for treatment are more severe than he expected. Other doctors on the team echoed the same sentiment. In Guatemala, there’s less than one doctor per 1,000 people. Additionally, families often can’t afford transportation to get to the doctor, especially in rural areas.
One of our surgical techs, Liz, recognized the lack of adequate health care in developing nations, and she decided that going on a medical mission trip was a way that she could help. In the four days that she’s been at Hilario Galindo, Liz has found that she loves the people who have stepped foot through the doors of the hospital—both her fellow volunteers, as well as the people of Guatemala. She said that being here has taught her the importance of kindness. We’re grateful that Liz joined our team and we hope everything she experiences on this trip will make her return with Faith In Practice every year.
We met Ada, a patient, on Monday as she waited outside the hospital to consult with a doctor. We ran into her again this morning as she got ready for surgery—she needed a hysterectomy. Ada has become a favorite with the medical staff—she’s confident and reassures us that everything will be okay. We visited Ada later in the day after her surgery. Despite being a little groggy, she was happy to talk to us; but she was even happier that everything went well with her surgery.
It’s obvious that the people on our surgical team love what they do and love serving others. Since patients are asleep during and after surgery, some members of the surgical team never get to hear the thank yous or be on the receiving end of the hugs and kisses from grateful women and men whose lives they have changed for the better.
Our surgical team has been blessed with remarkable talents, fortitude, and insight. The most beautiful thing that they can do with these blessings is bless others. In fact, that’s something we can all do—use our blessings to bless the lives of others.