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Spring Medical Mission Trip (Day 5)

 St. Gabriel students begin their school day with morning prayer.

St. Gabriel students begin their school day with morning prayer.

Day 5

Family and friends, 

Today there were countless procedures that we had the chance to reflect on during our debriefing meeting.  Addie deserves special acknowledgement for her perseverance and dedication which she showed throughout her surgery on a young boy's penis.  Others might have become flustered and frustrated but Addie maintained concentration despite a squirming patient and intense head. Mattie removed a cyst from a man's forehead and was able to show him the results via a selfie.  Brittany worked to close the wound with her phenomenal suturing to ensure proper healing. The man's smile afterwards was worth of a Crest commercial.

Ellen also deserves special recognition.  One of the struggles we have all experienced this week is working through translators.  One experience that proved particularly frustrating was working with a Haitian physician.  Rather than simply translating, he often steers the interview in his own direction offering his own thoughts.  While we respected his opinion, it makes the interview even more challenging when the interpreter is not asking what you want him/her to ask.  Ellen, however, managed to make this translator's medical opinion feel appreciated and heard today while while simultaneously treating patients to the best of her ability.  This culminated in her working with this translate to drain a hematoma from a patient.  

Personally, I have also learned a lot form how she interacts with patients.  When we visited the orphanage there was a little girl who had a heart murmur.  People were poking and prodding her everywhere.  White the girl as very calm and willing to let th

When we visited the orphanage there was a little girl who had a heart murmur.  People were poking and prodding her everywhere. While the girl was very calm and willing to let the students learn, Ellen did an incredible job of talking to her throughout the entirety of the interaction and the party message she left the patient with was beautiful. You could see the little girl light up.

One of the most difficult cases of the day came at the very end.  A woman came in who was severely dehydrated and appeared as if she was at death's door.  We tried to give her countless medications but she vomited all of them.  Eventually, we were able to restore her fluid levels enough that we felt comfortable sending her home.  We will visit her tomorrow at her home after clinic.

After clinic ended, we took a walk to an orphanage, which was started and operated by one of our translators who was an orphan himself and was motivated to offer hope to children placed in a situation much like his own.  

We provided physical exams for the children and noted medications that we would like to bring to them tomorrow after clinic.  One of the young girls examined had severe dental cavities and we are arranging funding for her to have a dental appointment.

Tomorrow makes the final day of clinic and is sure to be a long one with many follow up visits scheduled after clinic is over.  We hope to visit both of our translators' fathers who we saw earlier in the week and we need to return to the orphanage to bring medication for the children. 

The Haitian people will throw us a 'thank you' party tomorrow night as an expression of their appreciation for our efforts, an event we are looking forward to.  Most of the translators will attend and we look forward to interacting with them in a non-work environment.

Connor Arquette

Email Czar on behalf of the Haiti Team

Sarah Goh