With the return of the regular staff today, the culture and environment in the hospital is very different than yesterday. The doctors and nurses are back from the weekend, and the waiting rooms are full of local residents with everyday problems. The STJI staff starts the process of getting the day’s patients ready for surgery and dental work at 7 a.m. as yesterday’s patients get checked and prepared to be released.
Each discharged patient leaves with a backpack full of donated items including toiletries, hair bows and ribbons, dental supplies, clothing and small toys. They also receive the meds they need for their follow up care at home, and a bottle of clean water for use on their healing lips. They will come back in a few weeks for a check up. After hugs all around and a few tears, they are gone.
Sometimes, the admission process does not go as smoothly as you hope. Right away we have to send two little guys home without surgery due to complications. One has an acute lung infection, the other a heart murmur. When this happens, it is imperative the children see specialists in the city, which may take months, and then reschedule the surgery for when the team returns at another time. The disappointment for the families is heartbreaking. After such a long wait, they are sent home, only to wait again.
In the midst of the busy surgical day, some excitement! An emergency C-Section comes in! STJI volunteer Nadji, a neonatal intensive care nurse, is pressed into action and she is in her element. The local obstetrician, assisted by Nadji, delivers a beautiful baby boy! Mom and baby are doing fine and everyone is elated!
Meanwhile, volunteer and comedian Frank is outside organizing games for the kids and families, to keep them occupied while they wait to be processed for treatment. This breaks the boredom as many wait long hours. Spanish bibles are also handed out to many during this time, and volunteers pray with many of the families.
Four young men translators and 3 young women have been invaluable to us so far. Still in their teens, they are donating their time to help us make ourselves understood to the patients. Without their service, things just would not run as smoothly. Thank you Derrick, Chris, Kevin, Yarbin, Nancy, Irlanda and Armenia!
Thanks to the provision of our loving Father, day 2 has been a huge success – 8 surgeries, 3 other procedures, many dental patients and one C-Section! Thank you Lord, for allowing us to accomplish this work in Your Name!
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and the labor of love which you have shown towards His Name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10
Photos B. Peters