Dr. Ted Belanger, Spine Surgeon at Texas Back Institute has been leading a medical team to Ethiopia for the last several years. Their mission is to help people with severe spinal conditions with the latest in medical technology and techniques. Continue to follow their journey here on our blog.
Today we were up early to start the day quicker, but still ended up leaving around the same time we normally do because we decided we couldn’t leave the hotel until we had our coffee. Since we had more of a break yesterday it was really hard for us to get up early and get back into the grove of things at the hospital. It is now the rainy season so that in combination with the fact that its’ a Sunday we are all very sleepy. Today a 22-year-old girl, Yenenish Tedele, got a T12-L2 Verticular Column Resection or VCR and a T9-L4 PSFI (posterior spinal fusion instrumentation). We checked on Alemmesh, Alewya, and Eyerusalem who all had VCR’s the past couple of days and they are all doing great. All of their drains are out and tomorrow Alemmesh will be ready to go home. We took Eyerusalem’s bandage off for the first time today and showed her a picture of her back. She immediately started crying and said thank you a million times. It is easy to let things become habitual and to take things for granted, but that was another reminder of how much lives like her’s can change! Based on what I have learned these past couple weeks, those with a deformity struggle with persecution and fear that their families will abandon them or girls will fear that they won’t find a husband. It is nice to see the patients realize that they do have a future and it is humbling to see that we can help them see that. Around 1 o’clock we decided it was time for another coffee and to our surprise, the cafeteria was not serving them anymore. It has been a struggle for the past couple of days to try and get our coffee fix in because either the cafeteria is closed or the coffee is only for the ‘customers’, not staff. We’ve been trying to work our magic to get a sacred cup of caffeine.