2018 Medical Mission Trips
JANUARY 2018 Trip
As experience has taught us, each and every mission trip to MIVO's Orthopedique Centre in L'Estere, Haiti, is excitingly different. God continues to provide us with unique opportunities. In hindsight, one looks back and clearly sees the perfect alignment of the team which He put together for our January trip. This vastly skilled team of two orthopedic surgeons, physical therapist, anesthesiologist, nurse practitioner, orthopedic assistant, surgical tech, aspiring students, support staff and nurses of variable experience levels united in caring for over 559 patients. Fifty-nine plus surgeries and procedures were performed during our 6 days of clinic.
The abundance of God's goodness was felt by all in that place. It is not possible to adequately recount the ways our Lord's love was poured out through this team and through MIVO's Haitian staff. All who traveled down our MIVO lane seeking care, were greeted with genuine compassion. The OR capability was ramped up for this week with the arrival of the surgical joint implants and restorative hardware, provided through a grant from Depuy Synthes, and with the high performance of the homemade autoclaves from the United States . These critically needed items traveled via barge from Brooklyn, NY, in record time to Haiti. This is only one success story brought to fruition through the efforts and kindness of many dedicated individuals here in the U.S. and in Haiti over these last months in preparation for this incredibly strong team’s arrival!
Former trip members' recommendations became reality, as we set up our new procedure room. Smaller cases were to be performed in this new setting, such as closed reduction of fractures, achilles tendon releases, and spinal epidurals. These procedures required less anesthesia, less monitoring and minimal post procedure care. Our large OR and recovery area could then focus on the larger cases such as total joint replacements, removal of hardware, tibial osteotomies, and open reduction internal fixation of fractured bones. While the OR seasoned crew did what they “do best”, our patient examiners were diligent in keeping up with the non-surgical flow of patients. They performed everything from extensive wound cares, to steroid joint injections, to coordination of care for literally hundreds of patients in need. Our physical therapist was kept busy assisting the tireless PACU staff as part of the discharge team for the day’s surgeries. In between time, she was serving as a consultant and teacher for those patients in need of durable medical equipment, splints, braces, or range of motion exercises. Pharmacy was a happening place providing much-needed medications to the non-surgical patients. And one cannot forget those who floated throughout the clinic helping to do whatever was asked of them from getting a teammate some cold water to transporting patients to and from the OR. As we served in these variable capacities, God's hand was clearly felt upon us all. His strength was provided as the team persevered through some extremely busy, long days.
On one day, we did suffer the consequences of renting a large generator to provide our electricity. The owner needed the generator back for another lender in town for a full half day. Thus, we lost a full afternoon of surgery potential which had to be made up later in the week. Oh to the day when we own our very own generator with enough wattage to support the needs of the OR, the rest of the clinic and the team residence building!
Overall, our God proved faithful! Prayers were offered, accepted and heard in every aspect of our days. Some answers to our prayer requests came quickly such as found solutions to surgical challenges in the OR, bleeding stopped and PACU patients became stable, pain was reduced, much needed platform walkers or crutches were located so patients were able to walk on their own accord, and lasting human and spiritual bonds were formed amidst the busyness of the clinic. Meanwhile, other prayer requests began in Haiti and are ongoing. There are patients that our team members carry in their hearts back home; those needing ongoing healing, and yes, those in need of miracles. Each one has been touched by the love of Jesus through this team. We remain committed to pray to God for them as He is the One who bridges the 1,450 miles (as the crow flies) from York, PA to L'Estere, Haiti. He is the constant in our comings and goings....."the ever-present help in time of need". It remains such a privilege to care for each patient, large and small, young and old alike…...all God's children. We give God thanks that He used each of us as His instruments of love and peace. May our faith rise as we continue to trust our Father for more of His goodness, now and forever.
“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4: 11
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