After months of planning and preparing for this trip and what feels like countless hours of travel, this is when our volunteer team can finally get to work. Clinic day, our first day at the hospital, was filled with getting to know the patients who had often come to Piura from all over Peru just for the opportunity to meet with our skilled volunteers. For many, a free surgery performed by ReSurge’s volunteers is their only chance for a healthy, productive, discrimination-free life. Sadly, for patient health and safety reasons, not all will be eligible for surgery, but for those that do qualify, clinic day is the beginning of a truly life-changing transformation.
The whole team is feeling excited now that we’ve helped out first patients. Our first four patients were all victims of serious burns. Because of the nature of the injury, these are some of the most complicated cases done by our team and must be done early during the team’s stay so proper follow-up care can be given before the end of the trip. One teenage girl, Yajaira, had a particularly moving story that I hope to share with you later in the week, but suffice it to say for now that it’s impossible to talk with any of these patients and not feel moved to do something, anything, to help these kids who have been through so much at such a young age.
I can’t help but already be impressed by this team of volunteers that I am so fortunate to be a part of. As someone who basically knows nothing of the running of an operating room beyond what I’ve seen on TV, this has been a real eye-opening experience for me. I’m amazed at how quickly the surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and everyone involved got on the same page and how well they all work together, despite most never even having met each other until a few days before. Clearly, this is a testament to the professionalism and decades of experience each of our volunteers brings to the team, as well as their ability to adapt in an environment that is often unpredictable. None of this would be possible without them and I can’t wait to share more stories from the incredible work they’re doing here in Piura, Peru.