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Antigua 2017 – Prime Directive

Surgeries have been steady and successful all week. From Sunday full clinic day, and a few screenings over the first few days of the week, the surgery schedule was filled out with 116 surgeries planned through Friday. As of the end of day, Wednesday, sixty-three surgeries between Urology and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) had been completed. Based on post-surgery rounds, doctors have reported that patients have had no major recovery issues, healing nicely. Monday’s surgeries primarily were for children and adults needing tonsils removed. There were nineteen patients. These cases are always done at the start of the week, so doctors have more time to watch over the healing process. If these patients live nearby, after the first night’s stay at the hospital, they are free to go back home, as long as they promise to return for check-ups over the following days. Patients that live farther away, are encouraged to stay in town so they can be monitored. In these cases, a patient and one family member are free to stay at Casa de Fe, a recovery house, (imagine a Ronald McDonald House). Casa de Fe, (House of Faith) is run by the Faith in Practice Organization, and has a working relationship with Obras Hospital. They allow our patients to stay, when they have no other safe place to rest and recover. They are given beds, food and safety. Our Medical Mission Foundation doctors do morning rounds, and “art team” members spend time there doing crafts and quiet games with the children and parents. And, while there are some patients that do not follow doctors’ orders and leave, it is often due to concerns about the need to return to work.


On this mission trip, there are five medical students and one student nurse anesthetist shadowing or participating in the various services required in take a patient through the process of surgery from Pre-Op to Post-Op. This has been a great opportunity to gain insight and experience, learning new surgical techniques. Medical students, Danielle and Micah shared that they have loved the willingness of not only the doctors but the nurses in teaching them about the different procedures. Another med student, Terra, has enjoyed getting to see more than ever before in surgery, and even hands-on opportunities. Jenna mentioned that though there are so many things that she could share, the genuine gratefulness of the patients for what the team has done for them.