The Operating Rooms are being packed up, medical records are separating charts, and post-op. has a new batch of children all with beautiful new lips.
It is bitter sweet to be ending today! I am exhausted, but have gotten really close to a handful of patients. It makes me sad to know there are some we could not operate on for a variety of reasons, and that some had to be turned away for others!
This mission has been exceptional, from all angles. We screened 242 patients, and did 185 surgeries in 4 1/2 days. That is 185 lives changed with surgery, and hopefully more by receiving other medical services.
Our team of international and local volunteers have all been incredible to work with! They are all so very patient, compassionate, and put the children and families first. I am going to miss my international friends! I only hope we can all stay in touch and see them again on a mission.
There were bumps in the road on this mission, and I have to admit I shed a few tears and got really mad! However, in the end the children were our reason for being here, and that is evident in what we accomplished.
I wanted and needed to do something meaningful! Something that would recharge my battery, because we all get complacent in our jobs no matter what we do! I needed to be reminded that meaningful does not always have to be something like going to another country on a medical mission, which is truly amazing, but it can come from a simple smile or validation of feelings for those who really need it!
I hope I can use this reminder in my own life at home and don't allow myself to get so caught up that I feel like making a difference cannot be done on a daily basis!
Being here has reminded me of who I am, how I want to feel daily even at my own
job, and has given me something back that has felt absent in my life!
I am truly humbled by the people of the Philippines, their hospitality, trust, and gratitude. They are amazing people who enjoy life for the opportunities it provides them.
I am off to the second leg of the journey tomorrow, and hope that it will be as inspiring as the mission has been!
Highlights for today:
My buddy Frank went home! I hope he emails me! See picture of me and Frank below! He is 13 and is such a sweet kid!
Ciriaco went home as well today! His letter is still in my bag! Sweet young man!
Surgeries were over by 1:30 but stayed to help until 4:00, so little early day!
Grisha finally chatted with me- this was one if my goals this week! He is so shy you can hardly get anything out of him! Really nice, and has come to talk more now!
Beautiful lips out of O.R. today! Families so happy!
Hanging out tonight!!! No Function to go to!!