Revolutionizing Spine Care…Changing Lives

Uganda Spine Surgery Mission 2017 – Day 7&8

The weekend: I Guess You Could Call This Days 7 & 8?

Saturday morning. Bittersweet as we of Team 1 share our last breakfast together before everyone leaves Dr. Huang and I (Adam) behind to join Team 2 as they go to a conference in South Africa. We recall the events of the week and the one case planned for the day over our usual breakfast and laugh as we recall Brian tearing his pants multiple times, and the severity of each year.

We planned for rounds and a single case today, a cervical fusion on a gentleman named Moses; this would give us enough time to visit all the previous patients, the new patients from the previous day now in the ICU, participate in the surgery, and pack supplies so Team 2 has enough space for their supplies. Patients were all doing well; many were close to leaving, such as Medias, Denis, and a few others. The patients in the ICU were all reporting pain and discomfort (to be expected) but were all able to sit up and move, and thus, they could be moved later in the day from ICU to their respective wards.

The case on Moses was quick; no power outages, no surprises, nothing. A peaceful way to end our last day; Then, the packing. All our equipment needed packed up and set in another room for pick up at the end of week 2, as the incoming team has their own supplies.

Time passed, and the sad realization hit that this was it; they were leaving. We returned to the hotel, with Stanley, giving everyone departing a chance to grab their bags, have one last drink together, and take a group selfie. After some sad goodbyes, everyone piled on the bus, leaving Dr. Huang and I behind. Team 1, thanks for a fantastic week!

The rest of the day for Dr. Huang and I was filled with many much-needed naps, food, drinks, and more naps before we successfully called it a night, waiting to meet all of Team 2 upon their early morning arrival during breakfast.

Sunday, and Team 2’s arrival. There was mention of it earlier in a different day; there is no sleeping in, only early mornings with doctors. Team 2 arrived at 6:00 am, so Dr. Huang and I went down for a 6:30 am breakfast to meet and greet them. Team 2 consisted of Dr. Selvon St. Clair, Sherron Wilson, an RAN (resident nurse) from Florida, Alexis, Dr. St. Clair’s Physician assistant (PA), Megan, Bogdan Popa from Safe Passage Neuromonitoring, Chris Gutman, the Medtronix representative, and of course, Dr. Huang and I. We are and chatted before deciding that some sleep would be beneficial for everyone, and parted ways.

Noon rolled around, and we all headed piled on the bus, medical supplies on board, to unpack and get situated in the hospital, in addition to prepping the surgery schedule for Monday and doing rounds to introduce patients to Dr. St. Clair. We met a few new surgical candidates while we walked, and checked on all the post op patients; each one continuing in their improvements.

Once finished we finished unloading everything, we left to reserve a table for dinner at Igongo, and then made our way to Lake Mburo national park in order to get on a boat to view hippos and crocodiles, in addition to the other animals, such as warthogs, monkies, zebras, and gazelles.

Unfortunately, we missed the boat by only a few minutes, so we turned around to a small shop, where most of us bought souvenirs, either for ourselves or friends and family. Following a successful shopping spree, we returned to the restaurant, where we ate and were merry.

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