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Good afternoon, friends! The last day of operations commenced around seven; we boarded the bus, and once we arrived at Hilario Galindo, we sent the surgeons on their merry way to visit their patients from yesterday.

These past few days, our team has been working past five in the evening. In order to show our gratitude to the staff (who have spent extra hours helping, even when they have long trips home in the dark), the team ordered two cakes to give to the staff at the Hospital Hilario Galindo. They were so excited to have a treat during their busy day, and we are so thankful for everything they have done for us and the patients this past week.

Yesterday was Chris Harms’ birthday! She is an RN traveling with the team. When I asked her why she became a nurse, she explained that her neighbor (whom she babysat for) suggested it. So, being a high schooler facing the unknown, Chris became an LPN, and later returned to college to get her Bachelor’s degree and become an RN. Chris has many years of experience, and we are so lucky to have her working in the PACU this week; the patients have fallen in love with her!

Nancy, who I spoke to earlier this week during triage (the patient with peritoneal dialysis), had her hernia operation today. I did not speak to her in pre-op, but in the PACU after her operation, she gave me the biggest smile! It is safe to say that Nancy will be feeling much better after her surgery.

Dr. Higgins, Dr. Struxness, and the rest of the gynecology team unfortunately had to repair the stitches of a patient who accidentally damaged her original suture. They worked quickly to sew the incision back together with stronger stitching, and the patient recovered very quickly. Their teamwork in the operating room is remarkable!

There is a melancholy, bittersweet feeling among the team members this evening as we prepare to depart the Hospital Hilario Galindo for the final time. We are so happy to see the patients leaving with such joy in their hearts, but we will miss the experiences and time we’ve spent with them. The PACU nurses have especially bonded with the patients. Many selfies were taken with the staff members, and the team is now working on packing up our medical materials and supplies we brought from the US.

Tomorrow morning, the surgeons will make their rounds extra early (around five in the morning), return to the resort in time for breakfast, and the team will depart via bus for Antigua before seven!

Praise God for helping these sweet patients recover quickly, and praise God for the volunteers on this team: they have given up a week of their lives to serve people in need, all to His glory.

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