Yesterday was our last full day here in Ecuador! We worked at the clinic in Guayaquil and the hospital in Babahoyo for the day and then went off to do some exploring around the city!
With the help of our wonderful translators we went to El Malecon and a market. It was great to see some of Ecuador’s culture!
At night we had a closing party at the hotel which was a nice way to end our trip and watch a slideshow of all our work this week!
We are getting ready to close out of our rooms and end what has been a wonderful trip for all! Thank you to Blanca’s House and all involved!
Today we split up into two teams- sending a team to the clinic in Guayaquil and a team to the hospital in Babahoyo.
The clinic team saw an enormous amount of pediatric patients today! We were fortunate enough to send each of them home with a goody bag after their visit (special thanks to all of our sponsors and donations!). There were also many general medicine, surgical screening, and OB-GYN patients.
One special case we saw today was a 13 year old girl who was developmentally delayed. We were extremely inspired by her mother who has been working with her daughter as her “physical therapist”. At birth, she was told her child would not walk, run, jump, etc. However, as a very strong and determined women, the mother was able to create exercises for her daughter to do which has enabled her to walk, run, jump, and play just liked other children. It was such a blessing to witness such dedication and perseverance! We were all very impressed by the mothers ability to help her daughter achieve things that were at one point unimaginable.
In Babahoyo, the surgical team saw seven cases today. Upon rounding on the post-op patients everything was going very smoothly and many patients were sent home, with several others spending the night since they lived too far from the hospital to return for a follow up the next morning. The surgical team also spent time examining a teenage girl for orthodontic work for a possible future project.
Tomorrow is our last day at the clinic and hospital. It is hard to believe that we will be back in the United States before we know it! We are looking forward to spending a little time in the city and celebrating with dinner tomorrow night after we finish for the day!
Be sure to check out the photos from today!
Today we were extremely excited for our second full day in the clinic and hospital, especially after a good nights rest! We had a hearty breakfast at the Oro Verde and were on our way by 8AM!
At the clinic we continued to screen patients and admit them to the various specialty rooms. We saw over 150 patients today!
One of our most memorable patients was a 37 year old man from Guayaquil who presented with a hernia. He was very concerned about his hernia, but more so concerned about having surgery to fix it. He had several friends who had passed away from infections due to hernia surgeries, and as the only provider for his family of 8 our patient was scared that he would not survive the surgery therefore leaving behind his wife and children. Fortunately, Dr. Hoffmann, PA students, and the translators were able to reassure our patient that the Blancas House providers are top-notch surgeons and have an excellent record of past surgeries both in South America and in the United States. The patient was tremendously grateful and will be scheduled for surgery for the September mission trip. It was amazing to see Blancas House helping a whole family, by helping one patient.
We just finished swapping stories about our fantastic experiences and are off to get a good nights rest for an early start tomorrow!
As you saw in our last post we have arrived safely in Guayaquil, Ecuador and have officially started our mission!
To catch you up– Majority of us met at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, a few met us at JFK, and several members from our team met us in Ecuador! After a great red-eye flight we landed in Guayaquil at 4AM and rushed off to the hotel to have a quick shower, breakfast, and meeting. Around 8:30AM we were set and off to the clinic and the hospital in Babahoyo!
At the clinic we split up into teams between the screening room, OB-GYN, Pediatrics, General Medicine, and EKG/Surgical. We were overwhelmed by the amount of enthusiasm and energy the people of Ecuador brought to us! We saw over 100 patients in various specialties today!
After talking with many of our patients we found that while many of them came to the clinic from the local city of Guayaquil, there were also a large number of patients who came far distances with their whole family to seek the help of Blanca’s House. No matter where they were from, the common word of the day was “Gracias!” The patients, thankful for our medical services; and the providers thankful for the stories, laughs, dance parties, and opportunity to practice medicine!
Feel free to check out our Flickr account for pictures from the first 24 hours of our trip, and more to come each day! For now… time to relax a bit at the Oro Verde hotel and get ready for another early start!
Our team has landed safely and are now heading to the hotel to eat and grab a quick shower. Then off to La Clinica Centro de Salud to unpack and start to work.
I had such a great experience!! I never thought I would end up doing acupuncture in Guayaquil since I don’t study medicine! But I’m so glad that I decided to come because I had the chance to meet really cool people and learn a little bit of holistic medicine. This opportunity gave me the chance to see the main objective of the practitioners is to heal and help people but I think that the patients heal them too because your problems get smaller when you realize that other people have really big problems and they make you feel so happy when they get better and feel really so thankful and that heals your heart. I thank all my friends who taught me all these important things and shared really nice moments with me. I love you all!
Hey this is Christian from Cuenca and I have been working as a translator in this week’s mission with Blanca’s House. It has been a hectic week here in Guayaquil, and I’m having a wonderful new experience with all of the acupuncture practicitioners and the other member of the staff. I have learned a lot in this week, I’m in the middle of my psychology mayor and everything that we’ve been doing here has been great as a learning experience. Hundreds of patients and families have been treated and that feels really good to see all these people happy.
Thanks a lot for the awesome experience! =)
Today’s Almost Final Numbers:
Saturday + Sunday + Monday + Tuesday + Wednesday =
Total Patients Registered: 79
Total Surgeries Performed: 53
Total Procedures Performed: 117 (some patients had their left and right eyes done)
Total Sum of Services Donated: $568,067.00
This mission will become a documentary….Corinna and Jed have been filming in every nook and cranny of the hospital and the activity they encounter at every turn. Most everyone on the team was interviewed and each and every one referred to our motto, MAINTAIN MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY. That’s what keeps our team running so smoothly. Once they complete the editing process we’re all looking forward the “premiere.”
Another bright spot has been the helpfulness of the patient’s families. They have brought us food and are now volunteering to translate, if they can, or escort patients from one area to another.
Another light shined down upon us today. Two moms with their sons came from Guayaquil to have eye surgery. When the first child was being discharged, the mom asked if we could help her find an inexpensive hotel. One of our team members went out the front gate and asked a passerby if they knew where they might be able to stay in town overnight. Next thing we knew he went home to get his wife, returned to the hospital and offered their home for the two families. Takes your breath away.
Ophthalmological surgical medicine is extremely expensive in Ecuador and doctors will not administer anesthesia to children. So, together with the ophthalmologist at the hospital and using our drugs, surgical microscope, and anesthesia providers, we are hopefully going to operate on 15 children today… cataracts (congenital or not) and strabismus. The first little one was 9 months old…his surgery lasted two hours.
The School Visit
During every mission we arrange a visit to a school or orphanage. This time we were able to walk to the primary school around the corner from the hospital. The two principals met us and shared their school campus. Compared to what we are used to, this school didn’t have very much. The windows in the classrooms have bars but no glass. There was a basketball court, but not any other equipment except an old slide, and of course, no air conditioning. The children are, as always, a joy. They sang to us, then it was our turn to sing for them. They received more applause than they gave back…15 adults singing the Eensy Weesy Spider will never be an off-Broadway musical. We brought toys and school supplies which we handed out to two classes of four and five-year-olds. We also gave the teachers some school supplies. The gratitude is always enormous.
MY EXPERIENCE AT BLANCAS’S HOUSE
BLANCA’S HOUSE MISSIONS HAVE BEEN AWESOME EXPERIENCES, I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE FOUNDATION, THROUGH MY SCHOOL, AND AS A MEDICAL STUDENT IT HAS HELPED ME A LOT, AND THE PEOPLE THAT WORK HERE ARE JUST AMAZING!! THE DOCTORS ARE REALLY HELPFUL AND OPEN TO TEACH AND LISTEN TO ANY DOUBTS YOU MAY HAVE; THIS IS AN AWESOME LEARNING EXPERIENCE! AND THE TEAM THAT PUTS THE MISSION TOGETHER ARE INSANE!! I DON’T KNOW HOW THEY PULL THIS OFF, FROM ORGANIZING, TO FUNDING, TO SOLVING CRAZY PROBLEMS ALONG THE WAY, THEY ARE JUST GENIOUSES. I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY BECAUSE THIS HAS REALLY HELPED ME GROW AS A HUMAN BEING; I HAVE MADE GREAT FRIENDS AND MET SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE!! AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEE YOU AGAIN IN MY THIRD MISSION WITH THE FOUNDATION!!
SEE YOU AGAIN SOON!
FIFTH YEAR MEDICAL STUDENT (CUENCA, ECUADOR)