Day 0 -1 Traveling – The long trip to the Philippines
The day started off early as we all met at the Airport at 4:30 AM. Everyone got checked in and bags checked for the flight. The first leg of the flight was to Detroit International Airport where we had a few hours layover. We arrived there around 9AM and then started the long flight to Tokyo. The 13 hour flight was long and wore most of us out. We arrived in Tokyo at around 3:50PM Local time and had a short layover as the next flight left at 5:25. Dr. Maria bought some green Tea Kit Kats and shared them with the team. We then started our last flight of the long day to Manila and arrived around 9:35 PM. Once we got all the luggage, we all ventured out to the buses and proceeded to the Holiday Inn Express after the 24+ hours of traveling. The team got a few hours of sleep before we ventured off to the airport again for the final flight to Bohol. This flight was only 1:15 minutes long. We gathered up all our luggage again and were greeted by the medical team in Bohol where we all received “Necklaces’ Once we arrived at the Bohol Tropics, the team enjoyed a little free time at the pool and caught up on some sleep.
Day 2 – PreOp and Dental Mission
The day started off at Breakfast at the Hotel and a few people went to the Local Mass. The medical Team traveled to the hospital to get everything setup and do PreOps with all the patients. The surgery team screened about 30 patients and determined the weeks surgery schedule. Likewise, the OR team and PACU teams set up both the OR and PACU with supplies, getting everything ready for the next day. Once all the PreOps were done, the team headed back to the Bohol Tropics Hotel for a little time at the pool and napping.
The Non-medical team members Edna Talboy and Perry Holloway took toothpaste and toothbrushes that were donated to Medical Mission Foundation and handed them out at the Free Dental Mission in the Town Hall. The local team of 20 dentist and dental assistants were doing both teeth fillings as well as tooth extractions in an open area within city hall building. They successfully treated around 100 patients during their short time there.
Cora Zamora’s sister Fe and family hosted a delicious dinner of local dishes for the team. Everyone had a good time and then went back Hotel to get some sleep prior to surgeries the next day.
Day 3 – First day of Surgeries
The day started off like previous days with breakfast at the Hotel. After breakfast the team loaded into the bus for the short journey to the Hospital. We also were part of the Flag raising ceremony at the Hospital in the morning.
Dr. Perspectives of the day
“So days seem to evolve into more than originally expected. For me, that is a running theme for this trip. I had two primary procedures: treatment of a Stage 4 uterine prolapse and a hysterectomy to remove a 30 cm ovarian mass that filled the patient’s entire abdomen. Both women have done very well and are extremely appreciative of their surgeries and should be fully functioning very soon. The surprise was the interaction I was able to have with the medical students and resident. I don’t have many opportunities to teach anymore and it was great to see how engaged the residents and students were in the case, desperate to learn and wanting to do more. So, not only were we able to help the patients, but we were able to impact the residents and hopefully provide them with and experience and skills that they can apply to future patients, those that need care after we are gone.”
Today was a GREAT day. Arrived at the hospital at 7:00. The nurses/scrubs proceeded to get the OR and patients ready. A few of us were ushered to the front of the hospital where about 300 employees and patients stood outside in the heat as we were introduced. Then we proceeded to participate in the “Flag Raising” ceremony which involved all 300 of us dancing and getting down to some kind of line dance. Then came the National Anthem followed by an inspirational recitation of why they were all there working at the hospital. Then the work day started for everyone. Our team worked with the local OR staff and Philippino surgical residents/medical students to perform 2 minor and 3 major cases. The workday ended at 6:00 as we caught a trike (motorcycle rickshaw) back to our lodgings for dinner, relaxation and socialization. A perfect ending to a wonderful, fun and interesting day!!!
What an incredible time here in Bohol! We got to meet some wonderful patients Sunday and took 4 of them to the OR today. The first case was a laparoscopic case we did to remove a gallbladder and the setup was similar enough to the one we have every day to make me feel right at home. Getting to work with new patients, new friends in the OR, and with the fantastic residents and students at this hospital that were kind enough to scrub with us has been a highlight of this trip. I learned so much and can’t believe I’m here. We ended the day with a relaxing time at the oceanside lounge. What a day. Looking forward to so much more.