Last month, ReSurge visiting educators traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador, to train local doctors on how to repair serious hand injuries. Our team included Dr. Gavin O'Mahony, a hand surgeon; Dr. Karen Pitbladdo, an occupational therapist and hand therapist; and Dr. Karina Rando, an anesthesiologist.
They worked with local doctors, physical therapists and staff, lecturing and providing hands-on training. Skills taught included scaphoid fractures, nerve transfer, tendon reconstruction and post-surgery physical therapy.
There were also patients who received surgical care. They include Juan, a 26-year-old who was injured when he jumped into a fight to protect a woman from being attacked by her ex-boyfriend. Juan suffered cuts on both hands, and the forearm muscle that enables movement of his right hand was nearly severed. He also had limited motion and sensation in his left hand.
Surgeons were able to repair the forearm muscle. We hope the procedure will eventually lead to Juan regaining full use of his hand. The ReSurge team put Juan in a specialized plastic splint that provided support but also a minimum level of flexibility. Doctors expect him to remain hospitalized until his left hand is stable.
ReSurge is grateful to our volunteer educators, the local medical professionals and our partnership with Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, which helps sponsor our work in Ecuador.