Saturday, October 24, 2009
Chantale is a 6 year old girl who was badly burned last year when she sat on a kerosene lantern. Our hearts were saddened when we saw her for the first time last February. Due to the scarring she was unable to stand up, separate her legs or move her right shoulder and elbow. Her caring mother brought her again in June I promised that I would do something when I returned in September, not knowing if I would have the help I needed to do the case. Fortunately we were joined by Dr. Duncan Miles a plastic surgeon from Loma Linda University. After 5 hours of surgery we were able to excise the scars around the hip joints and rotate some normal tissue into place allowing her once again the freedom to stand up. The following morning I asked her how she felt and from under her mosquito net she replied “Sa va bien et toi monsieur?” In one of our future trips we will plan to release her shoulder and elbow contractures allowing her the use of her right hand.
We were joined on this trip by Dr. Brian Yost one of my orthopaedic surgery partners from Riverside County Regional Medical Center. He also brought with him Louise O’Rourke RN director of operative services and “Dr. Sagoo 2” one of our excellent ortho residents training at RCRMC. Their expertise, help and donations greatly added to our efficiency, quality of care, and international comraderie. As usual our Dominican anesthesiologist and 2 nurses were on fire from early in the morning until the late hours of the night.
We are progressing with plans to transition our quarterly trips into a more sustainable program that will involve several surgeons who are committed to making regular trips to Cap Haitien which will continue with the same frequency. We are planning the construction of some extra operating and storage space which will facilitate volunteers to provide services independent of our Dominican team and the armamentarium of equipment that we haul back and forth from Santo Domingo for each of these trips.
Our next trip will be Nov 29-Dec 12, 2009.
Posted by Scott Nelson at 7:28 PM