Friday, April 22, 2011

~Re-Cap on my trip to Ecuador~

FINALLY back home:) Sad to be gone from Ecuador but missed my family.. BUSY BUSY next 6 weeks....Brant's graduating from WIU, YEAH BRANT!!! Brett & Cari's couples wedding shower, then wedding in Punta Cana, CAN'T WAIT!!! Niece Lili's communion, REUNION with my 1st Haiti trip GO Team, Briel & Braei braces FINALLY after 2 years of prep, Erin's wedding, Briels CHEER FITTING and meeting for summer cheer camp, and a past due surgery....Then MAYBE a Mohr Reunion in Wisconsin... NEVER ENDING but a welcome schedule of family & FUN!! <3<3<3<3<3<3
Here are pics from my trip...

This is the group when I first got to Ecuador, Nick, Bridge, BP, Liz, Peter Me & Jana...

First Day... Went to distribute surveys for surgical patient, including, Cleft Lip/Palate, Hernia, Cataracts, Prolapse Uterus/Bladder & Burn Patients..Peter, Liz, & Jana...
 BP explaining the program to the nurses at one of the clinics, who to distribute the surveys to, when to collect and return them to us, where they should come for pre-op work up & exam..........
1st Sunset, and certainly wasn't the last!! The sunset were UNBELIEVABLY beautiful and colorful from the roof of the hospital!!
This was actually the Triage Emergency Room in the back of the hospital...We set up our clinic for exams and pre-op pictures of the surgical candidates..
This was our nurse who registered all the patients for us at the pre-screenings..

SAD DAY, for me at least...The 3 girls left to go up north and finish their work in the mountains.. MISS YOU GIRLS, Katie, Jana & Liz..

BP interviewing and taking history of a cataract patient..
Interviewing a patient...
BP going over the days patients with the Hospitals doctor..

Our 1st Cleft Lip patient..SHE WAS SUCH A LIVING DOLL!!!
Please help these patients get the surgery they need.. $175 pays for the entire surgery for Cleft Lip surgeries...(Patients DO NOT pay any of it, that's what we need the donation for..)

Our 2nd lil Cleft Lip patient..These babies are soooo unbelievably happy..It was sad when BP made us make them cry so he could get a picture inside their mouths for the surgical team, Plastics doc.   PLEASE HELP these patients get the surgery they need.. $175 pays for the entire surgery for Cleft Lip surgeries...(Patients DO NOT pay any of it, that's what we need the donations for..)

PROUD MOMMY!! xoxoxo

LOOK AT THAT SMILE!!! Want to help fix her smile? Donate $175 pays for the entire surgery for Cleft Lip surgeries...(Patients DO NOT pay any of it, that's what we need the donation for..)
Can you say 2nd degree bubbling burn??? ONLY 1 hour and 45 minutes in the La Playas sun and this is what you get!!!

Another COLORFUL sunset on the roof of the hospital!!

BEST PIZZA in Ecuador, made from SCRATCH (even the crust) by Nick and Bridget!! OMG it was HEAVEN in Guayaquil!!

MMMMMM, mmmmm, MMMMMM gOoD!!!

Not a patient but friendliest boy I met there.. He even let me where his flip flops!! YEAH!!

2 Cleft Lip/Palates came together from one of the clinics we took the surveys too.. 1 with his mom and 1 with his dad so I immediately thought they were a family.. NOPE just came from the same clinic together..
We took pictures of all the patients to forward on to the doctors for review before they came to do the surgeries..
Please help these patients get the surgery they need.. $175 pays for the entire surgery for Cleft Lip surgeries...(Patients DO NOT pay any of it, that's what we need the donation for..)

Last Cleft Lip patient when I was there.. Help this lil guy!!!

OMGoooooodness, isn't he adorable?? 
Below is what happened while I was there & since I left from the "BEST BLOGGER EVER!"

22.04.2011:MMRCglobal Project HMB…on this Good Friday

by Bridget Mulrooney on Friday, April 22, 2011 at 11:43am
This morning I awoke to birds tweeting. That, in itself , is out of the ordinary. Mornings are noisy in Guayaquil. While the roosters here aren’t suffering from PTSD insomnia issues, their calls still start long before sunrise and continue throughout most of the morning. Dogs are always barking, well mainly yelping. Dogs here are weird. They are all short dogs and they all have mange. They seem to have owners, as they only roam on the streets where they belong. They chase each other occasionally, but mainly they lounge around. Barking. Barking at nothing, barking at the air, barking just to bark. We have one that yelps outside of our hospital. At first we all thought something was wrong with it, like it had gotten hurt. After a few days of running to the window at each yelp we figured out that this particular pup yelped any time it was left alone. The loudest time of the morning is around seven. This is when all the announcements and songs start to blare through the PA system. Oh Haiti, you just don’t know how Ecuador has topped you. Instead of the criers on megaphones, here there are loudspeakers on the rooftops. They are used as radios, commercials, reminders to go to confession (these are in the tone of “go to confession, right now!), birthday announcements, morning hymns and for many other things. Its noisy enough that one forgets all about the roosters. But, this morning I awoke to pleasant chirping from what sounded to be about twenty or so birdies.
I am guessing that it is so quiet this morning because today is Good Friday, a national holiday in Ecuador. Most of the fame of this week goes to the town of Quito, which celebrates Holy Week in a large manner, including the Good Friday Procession.  The procession begins at midday to recall the hour which Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death. The procession lasts until three in the afternoon, the hour of the death of the Lord, and the Descent from the Cross is performed at six in the evening, the hour at which the day ends in Jewish culture. There are many articles, blogs, and videos posted online detailing what the processions entails so I will spare you from my paraphrasing; but if you are intrigued by crosses made from cactuses I suggest you use google to its fullest powers and go buck wild.
Guayaquil is more than a half days bus travel from Quito. No one from the neighborhood mentioned heading to Quito, so maybe the city has its own processions. Either way, MMRC has yet to have a surgical candidate today. For me, it’s the perfect inspiration I needed to sit and type a blog.
My writing has been  sporadic at best, in frequency and in contexts. I still spend the majority of each day near or on a computer. This is not something that I derive much pleasure from, although I will boast that since we started to hold open clinic hours Mon-Sat I no longer have to sit in a chair at our dining room table while I work . Now I sit happily perched on a rolling ER stretcher in our clinic room off the ER .  We have no TV where we live, so most of the nightly entertainment comes from watching movies off our laptops. Sometimes we change things up by switching laptops between movies. Crazy times, right?One day last week my computer decided that it refused to go to certain websites, such as gmail (no google docs), tmobile, CMH email, bank of america, etc. so I have been using BP’s. This is also the computer we use down here in the clinic to enter our pt. data.  By the time our clinic hours are over and before movie watching time begins that the last thing I feel compelled to do is stare at the computer screen. It is a bit ironic though, because it is not as though I am ever shy of things that I want to write about it. Anyhow, this is why I am glad we are having a slow clinic morning for now I have this time to sit and type.
 MMRC has seen nearly sixty patients in the last week. They have been as young as two months and as old as ninety. More exciting is that all of our patients heard about us via our surveys that we handed out. We’ve seen cataracts, prolapsed uterus/bladders, gallstones, and even four patients with extensive burn scar tissue. The most exciting part of all of this are the twelve clefts that we’ve examined. In order to work through the difficulties of getting everyone involved on board and in gear MMRC decided to focus its pilot surgeries on cleft lip patients. This was decided after we were alerted about 500 patients that needed treatment from a surgical team that was leaving EC. During our large meeting last week it was decided (for us) that we would evaluate these patients in the hospital here. We were to have clinic hours Mon -Fri 8am-5pm, and Sat from 8 am-12pm.  We eagerly agreed, as we had timelined out nearly three weeks of footwork for gathering the data on these patients, contacting them, and evaluating them. Our thinking was that it was going to be difficult contacting these patients in order to evaluate them. We had even thought of going to separate locales to do our exams. Our ideas were not entertained, but we are experts at rolling with the punches so bright and early we awoke ready to be inundated with cleft lip patients.
That is not what happened. What did happen is that we started to get replies from our surveys. A day went by before we saw our first few cleft patients. The first two that we saw were both Bilateral Cleft Lip & Palate girls. BCLP’s are the most extensive and difficult types of clefts to fix. BP instantly fell in love with these girls. It’s awfully hard not to. While on one hand these baby girls have serious facial deformities, what really shines through is their innocence. They are both too young to know that they are different. For now, they both light up the exam room as they smile with their eyes and misshapen faces. The older of the two girls is one years old. Her clefts have left her with a small piece of gum ridge with her two top teeth growing in. Her mom says that she always wants to eat but anytime she tries to that her mouth bleeds and that all the food comes out of her nose. Her inability to eat is causing her to become malnourished. Neither of these girls are going to be a one surgery easy fix. They will both need numerous extensive surgeries and then multi-modality treatment plans with orthodontia, speech therapy, and bone grafts to create a alveolar gum ridge . It is more than what the hospital craved on their timeline that they presented to us.
After the end of the next day we had seen three more BCLP patients. Some had been through a few surgeries, some have had none. I knew BP was never going to let these kids fall through the cracks of having incomplete treatments. He immediately contacted LEAP , informing them about the extent of the clefts of our patients.
We have seen twelve clefts so far, and out of them only one has been a sole cleft lip. Hers had been operated on twice and needs a revision. All of these kids can be helped, and surgeries will change their abilities to eat and talk. If kids aren’t enough to tug at your heart-strings we have also have two adults that have CLP that both need cleft palate repair. One of them we have yet to see, but her sister had come in. She too, had a cleft lip and palate. She had all of her surgeries and had actually come in to see us about the burn scar tissue she has on her face, neck and arms from when she was burned at age 9. She mentioned that she had a younger sister , who is now in her late 20′s, that had one operation to fix her CL, but never had any palate surgeries. I can’t even imagine being a grown woman and not being able to have intelligible speech.
We’ve also seen two cousins that both have microtia, which is a very small and underdeveloped ear. They are both teenagers and very beautiful. Neither have ever had any auditory testing done. The elder girl has a small opening to her ear canal, while the younger girl has no visible EAM. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Friends, Romans, squires and countrymen lend me your ear..Er, okay not lend but make and then give to these girls!
We have had a local NGO maxo-faciallary surgical dentist come in to talk to us. He wanted to refer about 8 of his patients to us to get cleft palate revisions. We wanted to talk to him about getting our patients enrolled in his program to get them orthodontia. On average the costs of treatment per year is over 700 USD. That is so expensive. Right away me and BP were both like “We need to raise some money STAT”.  That same afternoon the head of Children’s International came to our clinic with one of their doctors. Our presence is becoming well-known in Guayaquil, yet our funding is still non-existent. Each cleft surgery is going to run $175 USD. MMRC is grappling to raise money for these first surgeries.
We just heard back from LEAP – and they assured their commitment to following through with complete treatments for the patients. I am going to stop typing and celebrate this good news on this Good Friday...

1 comment:

  1. NO I WAS NOT ON VACATION, I was the photographer most of the time so not sure if ANYONE took pictures while I was helping in the clinics.. I DID HELP, right BP???
    The 2 Sundays we had off we did get out and relax...


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