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Good morning from Guatemala! Already, surgeons are on their second cases, with patients cycling through pre-op and the PACU smoothly. The morning began with our bumpy bus ride to the Hospital Hilario Galindo. We arrived, and everyone traipsed into the break room to change and start the day.

I was able to follow the surgeons into the wards this morning, before anyone was in the operating rooms. Patients in the wards are in recovery from surgery, and they wait there until the next day so the surgeons can ensure they are fit to return home. Although it was early, many of the patients were awake and eating breakfast; they also showed excitement when they learned they were cleared to leave the hospital. Dr. Sachs, Dr. Hinckle, Dr. Hartz, and Dr. Higgins all displayed great compassion and care towards their patients this morning; Faith in Practice is so thankful for the hard work they do, and the grace and kindness they always show.

After doing rounds with the surgeons, I walked with Pastor Scott and Wendy Robinson (Team Leader) to the Casa de Milagros, where patients and their family members can stay before and after surgery. Although the patients were hesitant to talk with us, the Faith In Practice volunteers were eager to share their stories.

Dinora has been a volunteer with the organization for three years. She knew about Faith In Practice because she was once a patient here being treated for neurofibromas (recurring tumors). Fortunately, doctors here at Hilario Galindo were able to treat Dinora, and she no longer has this health issue. She wanted to repay Faith in Practice somehow and found that volunteering as a leader here was a fulfilling option. Julian is another volunteer leader here at Hilario Galindo. He heard about Faith in Practice through his church and wanted to find out more. Once he realized what we do, he decided he wanted to become a volunteer leader, and has been working for six years! His wife and daughters are also part of the Faith in Practice family.

This afternoon, the operating rooms took on a difficult case. Gilberta was feeling fine in pre-op. She had a large hernia in her right groin. Dr. Hartz was ready to operate, and Gilberta was eager for more comfort after her surgery. However, once the surgery commenced, Dr. Hartz found that repairing the hernia would be much more complicated than he originally thought. The location and size of the hernia caused many issues, and unfortunately, two incisions were necessary (normally, only one would be made). Dr. Sachs and Guatemalan medical resident Hector also offered their assistance to Dr. Hartz. A case that would normally take between one and one and a half hours turned into a two-and-a-half-hour case, and by the end of it, the surgeons and nurses were exhausted by the contest between themselves and the hernia.

I visited Gilberta in the PACU, and although she still had a touch of pain, she was feeling better and was sitting up in her bed! Praise God for the wonderful work he is doing through our team’s well-trained physicians and nurses.

Until tomorrow!

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