To start our morning devotions, Nan had us close our eyes and listen … listen to the birds chirping … listen to God calling your name … listen to God saying, “I love you.” Quoting from Ephesians 1:18: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
She again asked team members to share something that impacted them:
Debbie Burns – The reason I started coming to Guatemala was because my brother and his wife adopted their son Will from Guatemala 19 years ago. I learned from them not to take our wealth for granted, such as our homes and our jobs.
Susan Carrillo – I want everyone to observe the painting over the computers in the OR of the surgical scene that shows angels surrounding the patient and medical providers. The caption of the picture reads, “Do not be afraid.”
Sheila Chhutani – I learned after going to Guatemala to hit the “reset” button at least one day a month. Let go of titles and accomplishments, which are obstacles to God, and concentrate on His truth. Be filled with gratitude. Jn 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Dr. Heaberlin – I recommend the book “Every Moment Holy,” specifically the section on medical providers. Don’t miss what you’re receiving.
Following devotions, we took a team picture, then headed to the Obras for another busy day of surgeries and dental procedures. One thing that strikes me is the difference for these providers from what they routinely do at home. For example, a surgeon may only perform one or two procedures a day at home; here they are doing 4-5. They may be facing conditions that they never see at home because, in the United States, conditions are addressed much earlier. Our anesthesiologists and other medical team members are working in unfamiliar surroundings, with people they don’t ordinarily work with and in roles that are different than at home. Yet they do it with seamlessly, with great dedication and a total focus on patient care.
One of our patients, Eddy, age 8, had repairs by Drs. Peters and Apel for syndactyly on both hands. This is a condition where fingers are joined together. Eddy was quite an active child and kept everyone entertained on triage day.
Another child, Ian, 23 months, required a thumb reconstruction. Ian was not a happy camper about being here and let everyone know. He even tried to take his surgical gown off. There was a sweet moment when Dr. Bonasera picked him up and comforted him.
Dr. Stehly performed an arthroscopy on a 21-year-old young man’s shoulder. Many people in the Guatemalan culture have physical jobs and can’t afford to be out of work. The patients are so grateful to have repairs that allow them to resume normal activities and return to work.
During the week, our gynecologists, Drs. Bailey, Chhutain, Crable, and Eisenberg, have been operating on women, the majority of which require hysterectomies. Most of our patients come from remote villages where they receive little medical care. They are so apprehensive when they come for surgery, and it is gratifying to see their smiling faces later in the wards as they prepare to return home.
While our cooks were shopping today at La Bodegona, they saw Amilcar and his mother. Amilcar was our five-year-old patient from Monday who had surgery to fix an elbow deformity. When he saw the Faith In Practice badges, he was so excited to see people from team. Both Amilcar and his mother said to pass on their thanks to the team.
We had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Perez, a new doctor here at the Obras. He commented about observing how our team goes so above and beyond in patient care.
MEET OUR TEAM
Amy Carlson, CST – Amy has assisted as a scrub tech in the Obras operating room for 8 years. She is working with the gynecological patients. She has a new position working as a scrub tech at Live Oak Surgery Center in Plano.
Jay Goucher, CST – This is Jay’s 6th year with our team, and he is assisting in orthopedic surgeries. He also serves with Terence Anderson’s Faith In Practice team. He is a scrub tech at Baylor Scott & White Frisco.
Carmen Mendez, CST – Carmen is a scrub tech who works at Medical City Plano. This is her 8th Faith In Practice trip. She speaks fluent Spanish and helps out as an interpreter when she’s not in the operating room.
T’Ann Naugle, CST - T’Ann has been on 8 Faith In Practice trips. She is assisting Dr. Peters with upper extremity surgeries. She is a scrub tech at Methodist Southlake Hospital.
Lorna Woodford, CST, CFA, LSA – Originally from Scotland, Lorna is on her first trip with Faith In Practice. She is a Surgical First Assistant with privileges at Presbyterian Hospital Plano, Medical Center of Plano, among others. We love her British humor!
Kathy Batcha, MSRPh – With a career as a pharmacist spanning over 33 years, Kathy has come to Guatemala for her 5th year to assist with the dispensing of medications to our surgical patients. She serves in this role at home at the Baylor Heart & Vascular Hospital in Dallas.
Patty Litterer – Also known as our “Dental Team,” Patty has been providing dental care and educating patients in correct oral hygiene in Guatemala for the past 14 years. She has been practicing as a dental hygienist for over 40 years.