15 results for author: Brandon Pomeroy


Uganda 2017 – We Are One

And then sometimes something unexpected happens. It was Friday morning. With only four short surgeries on the schedule, the end had nearly arrived. Truly it had been a fairly uneventful week in my room. Busy but rewarding, difficult and yet always unique, we hadn’t had any major disasters or difficult cases. We were a well-oiled machine, but as strange as it sounds I was melancholy about it all.   I wasn’t even sure we were making a difference. I hadn’t really bonded with any of the patients. Most of the surgeries blended together. Prostate surgery, hernias, hydroceles, there wasn’t much to differentiate them. And yet…  ...

Uganda 2017 – Dream Big

On Wednesday there were fewer patients to screen and my surgery schedule was nearly full. Kate, Lisa, and Marlene had turnover down to less than fifteen minutes. Wake up the patient, wash the instruments, bring the next patient in and put him to sleep, position his legs in the stirrups… it was truly remarkable. Because of the efficiency we had just enough time to squeeze in a field trip.   At three o’clock, Carla, Candace, and the people from my room met at the bottom of the stairs and piled into the tiny car that Corey had borrowed to drive us to the Gulu Project's burn village. We turned left onto the Jura road then took the first ...

Uganda 2017 – It’s the Love that Fuels Us

It was before six and only Jeremy, Katharine and I were at the long, golden cloth covered tables in the hotel courtyard. Jolly Joe was already proudly making coffee with his new bright red espresso machine and I was watching the sky lighten and change, the beautiful cool morning offset the urge to catch a few more minutes of sleep.   An hour later the entire team had eaten and most were loaded onto buses heading for clinics and the two hospitals. A short ride later through town and then onto the newly paved Jura road that runs between the port at Kenya and up into South Sudan, we pulled into Lacor. The bright orange and yellow glow was ...

Uganda 2017 – Lean On Me

Monday is the most chaotic day. We finish setting up the operating rooms and somehow, magically, begin our first case by nine. Every year is different and the night prior all I had seen were elderly men with catheters who needed prostate surgery. So Monday we had eleven TURPs and one hydrocele scheduled.   Years ago I worked out how to have safe and effective irrigation for prostate surgery. It had to be isotonic, conduct electricity and be easy to carry. Of the choices, glycine requires the least volume by weight, so one 450 gram bottle will make thirty liters of irritant.   Glycine is relatively inexpensive and available at ...

Uganda 2017 – Arrivals

It had been an incredibly long, difficult year and yet in a flash we were on our way to Uganda again. We had landed in Amsterdam. It wasn't a long layover but long enough for coffee and apple strudel at that place with the giant teacups. Travelers from around the US arrived for the flight to Entebbe. There were new faces and familiar ones. And there were the ghosts of previous volunteers that would follow us throughout the week, still present in some mystical way. In six years I have met, talked with and had coffee with many different people in that airport and their presence was still strongly palpable, pangs of nostalgia pulling at me.   ...