Ou ban-m lespua You give me hope
Every 3 months we go to
This trip I was privileged to be working with
At the beginning of the week I often times feel overwhelmed and apprehensive about the magnitude and difficulty of problems that are likely to present themselves during the week. After finishing our 36th operation in 5 days, Jim asked me how I felt. Always a bit shell shocked from the experience, I can only liken it to all the emotions a soldier must have when he is returning home from war. In spite of long work hours and little sleep we don’t feel tired until the last case is done. The suffering of the people and the love created by the giving and acceptance of acts of kindness fills the team with emotion that provokes deep thought and leaves one changed forever.
The urgencies and case volume leaves little time for personal interaction with the patients, making one of my favorite times of the week Saturday morning rounds when we visit with our patients and review their post operative care plan before heading home. The 67 year old man in bed 24 Monseur Luime said to me “Ou ban-m lespua” You give me hope. During our last trip in April this same man had been in bed 24. In fact he had been suffering for 10 months with a severe segmental open tibia fracture. Because of the severe infection and little hope for salvage we had left his care to the local doctors. Since they had done nothing the bone was still exposed, although the infection had somewhat improved. This trip we saw him still sitting in bed 24 begging us to help him. With a 2 hour reconstructive surgery we placed an external fixator, removed the nonviable bone and covered the wound with a muscle flap and skin graft. Thanks to the companies and personal donors that support this work we are able to come prepared to take care of a wide variety of injuries and deformities. Often only a couple hours of our time along with the healing powers of our creator can make a life changing difference in those that we serve.