Today started off extremely busy. We saw the majority of the patients back from last year and it was incredible to see the change in their X-rays. Self-esteem in patients with a spinal deformity is normally very low. Just a few days ago there was a little girl that didn’t even want to show her spinal deformity, or have her picture taken. It’s sad, but the satisfaction comes when you see how you’ve changed these kid’s lives. I can’t wait to see the patients next year that we helped so far this year. Every patient that we saw back today for post op couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces. Even though the percentages of people that live here have a spinal deformity is small, it is definitely still something that turns heads. Seeing all of these patients back I felt like I knew them all already. Even though it is my first year in Ethiopia, my parents have been coming for years now and they always show me the pictures and tell me such amazing stories. Thanks to Dr. Belanger, Toni and the rest of the team, patients are walking, smiling, and enjoying what long life they have left.
After yesterday everyone is extremely tired! Ted and Emily worked until about eleven thirty or midnight on Getahun. They did over twelve hours of surgery. The patient had some complications and is currently in the ICU. He is doing great though, when we were in the room with him he was laying on his side and you could see how straight his back is now.