India 2019 – The Adventure Begins

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open”- Jawaharlal Nehru   Welcome to day one of the Medical Missions Foundation adventure to Bhopal, India. Where two vastly different cultures come together in friendship and service; mutual respect and love.     The American team left their homes, families and the comfortable surroundings of familiar food and smells. Where cows and kids are most not likely walking through the ...

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India 2019 – Namaste

The traditional greeting of India literally means the divine in me recognizes the divine in you. Our team in India will be saying that a lot in the coming week.   After months of recruiting, planning and most recently packing, Team India is ready to head to Bhopal, India for Medical Missions Foundation’s fourth mission to India. We will again partner with Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital - if it were not for our incredibly generous hosts, this mission would not be possible.   During this mission we will provide much needed surgical care to the people of ...

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India 2018 – Find Your Gift and Give It Away

The folded sheet of paper was titled “Teresa’s Jumbled Thoughts.” During one of our final group breakfasts at the guest house in Bhopal, I had asked Teresa Von Hagel, RN, to share her impressions from the week. The following evening she handed me the paper, apologizing for her writing, even though it was beautiful, because it came from her heart. She shared a quote that’s displayed prominently in her home:   “The purpose of life is to find your gift and give it away.”   That quote captures the spirit of the work performed by Medical Missions ...

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India 2018 – We’re Heading Home (Not)

After the windstorm, which blanketed green wheat fields with a dusty, gritty fog, and after the rainstorm that pounded our bus—the flimsy wipers were no match for the windshield waterfall obscuring our driver’s view—Brandon Pommeroy, MD, received a somewhat stormy text (at least to us).   “Our flight has been canceled,” he said.   We were supposed to fly home that night, and we were halfway through a bumpy four-hour ride to our hotel after a hurried visit to the Taj Mahal. The collective reaction in the bus seemed to be... Damn. Everyone ...

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Meet our Spectacular Nurses

Nurses are awesome. This week in Bhopal, the mission’s ten nurses did what nurses do: perform critical skills at an extremely high level while showing tenderness, strength, patience, and passion. This online spotlight is our small way of saying thank you.

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India 2018 – Our Favorite Photos

These are some of the memorable faces and scenes from the mission in Bhopal. Click on a photo for a larger image and to scroll through them all:

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India 2018 – The Gallstone Scam

The healer placed her lips on Parwati’s bare stomach and sucked. Parwati, a 60-year-old seamstress, was suffering from a painful gallstone, and she had traveled from Bhopal to a rural village for the unconventional treatment. She lay on her back as the healer sucked, sucked, sucked to remove the stone. The healer then raised her head and pulled the stone from her mouth (you can see the supposed treatment here). Parwati was “cured” and left a donation. But the stone was still there, and six years later, she continues to suffer.   Parwati is one of two ...

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India 2018 – A Father’s Advice

Growing up in Jabaleur, Pratibha Khare, MD, learned three key lessons from her father. The first: Education is vital. In 1934, her father earned his diploma in education after studying in England. “That’s why I’m educated,” says Pratibha, an anesthesiologist. “A lot of women at that time were not. He believed that if women are educated the country will prosper.” Lesson two: Don’t be greedy. “We always do for ourselves, but you should take care of other people,” she says. “That’s why we are in this world.” Lesson three: Care for your family. Always...

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India 2018 – Powerful Partnerships

Josie Bell is getting emotional. For three days, the CRNA has worked with a local anesthesia tech named Tularam. Their communication is limited—“I think he understands me better than I understand him,” she says—but they have bonded in the OR. Until this week, Tularam had never worked directly with patients. Now, under Josie’s tutelage, he has learned about pre-care and post-care, and how to handle patients when they’re waking up.   “I have confidence after working with Josie,” he says through a translator outside the bustling OR. And that does ...

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India 2018 – A Bond Between Strangers

Like so many good stories, this one starts with candy.   Four years ago, Abigail Hayo visited a merchant in Bhopal named Nirmaldas. Abigail is a mission coordinator for Medical Missions Foundation, and she was visiting the city on a scouting trip. Nirmaldas runs a tiny sundry shop. Candy jars line his counter, chip bags hang from clips. Abigail bought mango candy—his shop is near the Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital, where the organization now works annually—and each year, the tradition has continued: Abigail walks down the narrow, bustling street, past zigzagging ...

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