87 life changing surgeries were provided ! 87 Filipinos with a brighter outlook on life and less cleft related health issues thanks to our wonderful supporters! UI provided BLS for over 60 Healthcare Providers as well as ACLS education. Over 400 people received new, much needed reading glasses. New this year, we helped our moms preserve their milk supply during the surgical process with the help of donated breast pumps!
Our team safely ran 5 OR tables in 2 ORs, including 2 PACUs.
Blogs from Mission….
Sunday, February 2, 2020: Day 2
Today, the first full day of operations, sixteen surgeries were completed, sixteen smiles brightened, sixteen lives changed forever. All five surgical teams were up and running from 8AM until the last case wrapping up at about 6:30 PM. A very full and tiring day of work, but a very happy and successful day of mission.
One particularly captivating case is that of a 20 year old boy that I had the chance to see screened and admitted on Saturday afternoon. Living embarrassed and ashamed up to this point, he was beyond thrilled and excited at the hope live normally. He traveled 5 hours with his one of his sisters to make here to Naga City Hospital in hopes of getting this life changing procedure. As one of 9 siblings in a recently single parent household, the possibility of this surgery without Uplift Internationale’s help was miniscule to none. I had the privilege of witnessing the young man walking into surgery and the smile witnessed would light up a room, filled with possibility and hope. He came out of surgery and is recovering well, very excited to start over with a new smile, and very excited to begin to be able to play basketball again, which is his life passion and favorite thing to do.
Some of the other team members continued screening downstairs while others played with the children, doing puzzles, coloring, and just trying to make the long hours go by a little faster and more fun. A few of the outreach team members got the chance to match up with a translator and do patient interviews with some of the patients and their families. They were asked questions like how far they had traveled, how they had gotten here, how they had heard about the Uplift team, and some hobbies or personal interests each of the children had. It was life changing to hear each individual story and not just from a medical standpoint, but to see each and every patient as a people, learning their personalities and what it is like to live here in the Philippines.
We are prepared for another full day of surgeries and outreach tomorrow, mending faces… one child at a time.
Monday, February 3, 2020: Day 3
Another full day of surgeries were completed today. We had an estimated sixteen full surgeries today, with our full five surgical teams running all day. For many of the team members today was a big day because starting a 7:30 AM, the 2020 Super Bowl began back in Florida between the Chiefs and the 49ers, both teams in which we have very strong fans of. Dedication to their teams showed as the surgical teams rigged up a laptop in the operation room to live stream the game and complete half time show to keep up with what was going on. With a Chiefs victory, our Kansas City enthusiasts kept their excitement no secret in and out of the OR. Besides the morning football excitement, the rest of the surgical and outreach work went particularly well today. The days are beginning to run smoother with everyone knowing their jobs and getting acclimated to the setup of the hospital.
Some of the Outreach Team had some extra fun this afternoon and brought some wooden cars outside and got to paint with some of the children which brought a smile to their faces. Coloring has become a favorite activity in the hallways, especially during the warm afternoons. The walls of the hallways are now covered with beautifully colored pictures from the children that have brought some life to the halls of the hospital.
One particularly interesting story was of a little girl who traveled 8 hours by bus with her mom to get here. They arrived late on Sunday night and we got the chance to get an interview early this morning with them about their story and their journey. Her mom was doing laundry at home while listening to the radio when an advertisement came on about the Uplift team coming to Naga City. Immediately, they packed up a bag of belongings and got on a bus to make the journey here. The little girl went into surgery yesterday and had her lip as well as some connected fingers separated. Her and her mom are so very excited for the surgery and for her to live normally without fear of being made fun of at school anymore. She has dreams of one day becoming a teacher and helping those in her community learn. Her story is just one of many that has been completely changed by the incredible work done by Uplift Internationale and this mission team here in Naga.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Day 4
Today eighteen surgeries were completed successfully in the operating rooms. The full operating rooms are running smoothly, and everyone is working hard. As the full mission team has gotten into the groove of working together and in the hospital this year, the life changing stories, surgeries, and experiences are too many to count.
As the week has gone on, some of the patients who have needed to stay longer have been getting antsy with the long days of recovery. The outreach team decided to do a couple outside activities to make the time pass quicker. We did tie dye shirts and more car painting in the outside screening area, which turned out to be a hit with the kids. Some of the moms even enjoyed some car painting to pass the long days of recovery at the hospital. While that was going on, some of the little boys were outside playing with beach balls and just trying to have fun, even while they maybe weren’t feeling the greatest.
The hallways are beginning to become fuller and fuller as the days go on, with more and more intakes and recovery patients staying here at the hospital. Throughout the day, some outreach team members will set out some blankets in the middle of the hallway with toys and the kids come flooding in to play and just interact with the team and the other children at the hospital.
The whole team ended the night with a karaoke night hosted by the anesthesiology team, a nice run break and time to get to know team members because of the business of the week itself. Most had an early night to bed with another full day of surgery tomorrow, hopeful for a whole new group of children.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Another seventeen surgeries completed today. A big event today was eye glass screening for the people of Naga City. A few of the Outreach team members as well as some of the local Lions Club and Rotary Club members held two sessions outside to screen and give out complementary reading glasses for citizens in need of them. In total, we gave away over 350 pairs of glasses to the people from the area. There was a continuous line out to the road of those waiting to be tested, in hopes to see clearer. There was a small, simple test that was completed in order to determine if glasses were necessary and what prescription they would need to be. It was a huge success! One older gentleman came back after he had received his own glasses with tears in his eyes expressing how grateful he was for the kindness of our team to his people. It is moments like these that we will remember forever.
Discharges are taking up much of the non-surgical team’s morning times, as we have gotten later in the week. Each patient is given a bag to go home with filled with toys and games for the children, as well as medical supplies such as Gatorade packets, and extra hygiene products. Along with the bag, each child is given a printout of their pre and post op photo print out to see the change in the child from before to after.
Another successful day here in Naga City as we hit the middle of our mission. Tomorrow is another day to change the lives of the children here in the Philippines.
“Uplift Internationale has been an amazing experience. Giving back to those that can not help themselves has been such a rewarding experience. I thank those that have allowed me to be a part of this uplifting those that need help is amazing.”