Revolutionizing Spine Care…Changing Lives

Ethiopia Mission Trip 2016 – Day 4



Ethiopia Day 4, 2016

I believe I may be getting sick from the elevation; my asthma and eight thousand feet do not mix very well.

Yesterday’s surgeries went excellent. While we were out exploring, Dr. Belanger, my mom, Toni, and Walt were all still at the hospital with the other staff members working until we got back around 4:30pm. They performed two surgeries yesterday. The first surgery, was on a 13 year old boy named Asnake. The second surgery was a 12 year old named Mihret. Both patients are doing great! We did rounds this morning and changed the bandages, emptied their drains and they were all able to stand up and walk around with only slight hesitation. I think the hesitation comes from being scared, they are afraid they are going to break the rods or screws and that would be extremely hard to for them to accomplish. We didn’t get finished at the hospital last night until around 9:30pm. Already exhausted from our day, we had dinner at our hotel and headed to bed.

Walt, Lucy, Jason, and I all left for the hospital this morning at around 7:00pm to go ahead and prepped for the day. By 7:55pm we had the patient back waiting to go to surgery with an IV in and a gown on. Yesterday we didn’t finish until around 9:30pm because we got a late start due to the slow pace of the staff. So, Lucy and I gave them an extra push today and started almost an hour earlier than the day before.

We had a nurses meeting two days ago to explain the after care of a spinal patient and how to administer the medications, etc. And ever since then the nurses have been really amazing about helping stay on top of the care of the patients. We added a case on for today after our first patient because the patient was paralyzed in a car accident. We were going to get him to where he didn’t have to wear a neck brace for the rest of his life. The first patient for today, Tarik, has a muscular dystrophy called ducaine and she can hardly stand without help. Dr. Belanger performed a procedure to straighten her spine and used fixation devices to help hold it in place so she wouldn’t gradually start leaning over as she ages.

Shay arrived today, so mom had to go pick him up from the airport. He went over all of the upcoming cases with Dr. Belanger in the hallway so he could get an idea of what to expect for the week to come. I saw two post-op patients in the clinic while mom was at the airport and Dr. Belanger was in surgery. They were both doing really great! We also went and rounded on all the patients from the previous days and everyone is doing amazing!!

Will write again tomorrow!

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