Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Teamwork for kids in Hermosillo

We are on the last day of surgery! So far, the theme of our work here is twofold: teamwork and flexibility. Each is necessary to do the work of helping more than 50 children this week. Fortunately, everyone here on the CSI team, as well as our partners in this mission, excel at both.
I just had a conversation with one of the wonderful volunteers here at CIMA Hospital in Hermosillo. She needed to convey some information to me that I then needed to pass along to a surgeon in the operating room. Her English is almost as bad as my Spanish, but with smiles, some hand gestures and a lot of patience we managed to understand one another. Working as a team, we were able to achieve what we needed to say and do.
Another example of teamwork and flexibility: A mother and father came to the St. Andrews Clinic in Nogales looking for help for their son. He lost his ear in an accident last year, and although he is now recovered, the taunting and bullying he suffers as a result of his appearance is terrible. Clinic volunteers brought him to see us, and CSI surgeons and a local CIMA plastic surgeon examined him this morning and made a recommendation about the best way to help this boy.
The players here are numerous: volunteers and staff from CSI, St. Andrews Clinic, CIMA Hospital and the CIMA volunteer organization. The beautiful thing about this trip is that it all the components work so well together. All of us have the same goal: helping children and families in need. No matter what language we speak - or don't speak - or what our priorities might be at home, we all work as a team here to bring smiles back to so many faces. I'm honored to be surrounded by so many talented people, working together toward a common goal.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Off to a great start in Hemosillo - October 2015

10/5/2015 Hermosillo

Saturday was our screening/evaluation day at the CIMA Hospital in Hermosillo, Mexico. We saw 104 patients, and 49 were scheduled for surgery with CSI this week. For a variety of medical and surgical reasons, the remaining children were not ready for a surgical procedure at this time. With our extra surgical day in Hermosillo this year, and energetic team members, we will be able to accommodate all of the children who were ready for surgery.

Sunday was our first surgical day for the week. We had 18 patients on the operating room schedule, a mixture of cleft lips, cleft palates, bone grafts and one rhinoplasty. This was an extremely busy day, with operating rooms busy into the evening.

Some cleft lip and palate repairs require several surgical procedures over time, with the rhinoplasty being the third or fourth procedure. Children in developing countries with clefts may never have an opportunity for even the initial repair, let alone subsequent procedures such as rhinoplasty. Because of the ongoing partnership with the St. Andrew's Children's Clinic/CIMA and Children’s Surgery International, we are able to offer this high level of care to the children of the region who deserve as much as anyone to proudly share their beautiful smiles!