Uganda 2016 – First Day
Medical Missions Foundation is amazing. We are one of a handful of organizations that count surgeons among our volunteer team. Our surgeons, nurses, anesthesia providers and surgical technologists will staff five ORs from 7 in the morning until late at night.
Today is the first day of our mission in Gulu. Our day started early with a long bus ride from Kampala to Gulu. It ends tonight over dinner, where old friendships are re-kindled and new ones are built. Many mission veterans see each other a handful times during the year. We are spread far and wide. Volunteers come from Arizona, California, Kansas, Missouri, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Vermont. We share a common passion to offer help to those in need.
After we arrive, we have a brief meeting and we go to work. The bags are sorted and sent to the clinic, Gulu Regional Hospital and St. Mary’s LaCor. The team scatters to sort, unpack and prepare of the barrage of patients. Today, our team triages the patients who have been waiting for us. They will see about 200 patients today and begin to fill the surgical schedule. We have two general surgeons, two plastic surgeons, and 2 ENT surgeons. They will work late into the night to make certain we serve as many as possible. A sad reality looms for the team. We can’t help everyone. Sometimes, a surgery is denied since we don’t have all tools necessary to properly diagnose. We are not able to send a patient for lab work or a CT or MRI scan, so we must document the findings and refer the patient to their own doctor.