2017 GUATEMALA SURGERY MISSION
March 3-11, 2017
San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala
We did a lot of work, about 33 surgeries in 5 long OR days (10-13 hours long). We mainly treated complex congenital foot and ankle deformity presenting in children. We had one half day for relaxation and we went shopping and zip lining.
THANK YOU for your well wishes, love and support. Financial contributions through our GoFundMe page reached over $4,000 and that’s incredible!!! 100% of these funds went directly to patient care (patient hospitalization, anesthesia, medication, supplies, etc.) I can’t imagine how much these expenses would cost in the US, but YOU pretty much funded this mission for these poor people that have nothing else going for them. I felt their appreciation and pass on many “Gracias!” I’m glad I get to share another experience with you here via a few photos. In the next few months, I hope to share with you a short video documentary of the trip experience.
After past mission trips, I’ve written and rambled in deep thoughts. I continue to try to understand how poor people with life-altering deformity can be as happy and optimistic in life as they are. I again see that they tend to focus on what they do have and their relationships. While we might have “more” in some ways, maybe they simply understand it all better?
To gain perspective changes perception, the way we see our world. These mission experiences continue to shape my life. I again realize how lucky we are to have been born into our great circumstances (in the "lottery of life") and to have the ability to make the most of our opportunities. Even on your low days, allow yourself to see that you’re so lucky...
When the foot does not undergo normal in-uterine limb rotation, a child can be born with clubfoot. In the US, incidence is about 1:1,000. Nowadays, children are casted and can be corrected with minimal or no surgery and bracing. These conditions can be more prevalent in certain areas of the world for numerous reasons. Unfortunately, lack of access to doctors and healthcare facilities allows these problems to only get worse with time. As the issues become chronic and neglected, the deformity gets more severe and is no longer reducible. Surgery is necessary - soft tissue releases +/- bone reconstructive procedures. This year we did about 11 clubfoot reconstructions. Here are some of the immediate Pre and PostOps. The real reward comes in 1 year when we can see how these patients are walking.