Revolutionizing Spine Care…Changing Lives

Uganda Spine Surgery Mission 2014 – Day 1 & 2 “Kickoff”

Dr. Isador Lieberman and his team are back in Uganda for another Uganda Spine Surgery Mission. Written below by Joseph, one of the “week 1” volunteers, is the team journal from days one and two:

London was once again the meeting point for most of the Uganda Spine Surgery Mission team members, though the time spent there was just a short layover. The team, boasting members from London, Texas, Ohio, and Toronto boarded the long eight and a half hour flight from London Heathrow to Entebbe, Uganda. I, the last team member anxiously and excitedly awaited their arrival along with our local bus drivers. After pondering how we were going to fit all our equipment and luggage in our one bus, we began a calculated and concerted effort to try and do just that. After a little while, we were able to fit everything with some (little) room to spare! 1:30 am, after taking a quick moment to relax and refresh, we took in the fresh night air and began our long, tiring, but purposeful 5 and a half hour drive down to Mbarar.

At 6:30 am, we arrived, checked in, and after a quick hour and a half nap for some, were back at it for 9 am. We grabbed breakfast and left to unload our equipment and set up at the hospital. After hours of unloading equipment the orthopedics/trauma team, led by Dr. Thom Scharschmidt, and the plastics team led by Dr. Elizabeth Kerner walked through the ward to meet and select prospective surgery candidates. Dr. Lieberman and Dr. Owusu also selected four prospective patients for spinal surgery- two boys, Ezekiel and Frank with suspected congenital kyphosis, Denise, an 18 year old with severe kyphoscoliosis and Enid, a 23 year old with a TB infection affecting her lumbar spine. We booked her for an anterior corpectomy and reconstruction for Wednesday.

We concluded our time at the hospital at 4 pm with even more unpacking. During the process we blew some fuses from the newly donated Stryker drills, but finished our unpacking nevertheless. The team was tired and running out of steam after a long day’s work and only having only eaten breakfast. After what was supposed to be a short journey into town, we settled down for some cold drinks, toasting to a successful first day and even more fulfilling couple of weeks to come. We headed into the hotel for a delicious buffet dinner, and some well deserved rest.

Written by team member: Joseph Mpalirwa

Quote of the day -‘ouch that was my nipple’- Tom G. exclaimed, grazing his nipple as he helped unload some heavy bins from the bus!

Runner up quote of the day: ‘That is true love’- Sherri observing the subjects of photograph 1.

A woman props up a man into a comfortable position as he awaits an assessment for his shattered foot.

The team picture just after landing in Entebbe

Transporting our equipment into the O.R

Dr. Kerner dressing a burn victim

Dr. Owusu checking some reflexes on Frank, one of the prospective surgery candidates

Dr. Scharschmidt studying the Xray of one of his prospective surgery patients

The team assembles around Dr. Deo as he translates and presents a case to Dr. Scharschmidt and Dr. Fisk, one of his chief residents


Skip to content