Day Two of Surgeries
It was a very busy day in the operating room as the team worked hard to fit in an extra child today. Our morning went quickly, and three surgeries were completed by lunch. The team is working so well together. I was busy making adjustments in the surgical schedule to accomodate a few kids who were not well and need a few extra days of antibiotics before receiving their surgeries. I had the poor Chinese doctor so confused by my changes that I finally had to sit down at the computer and print the new and improved version of the schedule. It was my first time to cut and paste in Chinese, but I managed to do it without any serious loss to my spreadsheet. The unit is full to overflowing now, with three beds in the hall.
I learned something new today: When the man comes down the hall pushing the big metal cart, you had better not be in the way. Apparently he is the “water boy,” and all the ayis came running of of their rooms carrying their big blue thermoses. Once everyone has their thrermos loaded onto the cart, the “water boy” takes them to the room with a big huge steaming boiler and refills them all.
Today’s recipients of new smiles were Feng, Danny, Jia, Zhuang, Duo, and Jie. All of them look so wonderful. I am especially impressed with Duo’s repair. Poor Duo had to wait for so long before her surgery. At one point, her ayi left to get some food and the nurses were holding her. She was not at all happy without her ayi but calmed right down again after her ayi was back in sight.
Danny is 11 years old and was so brave; yesterday he colored all during the pre-ops, and today he never seemed even the least bit afraid as we wheeled him off to surgery. Once out of surgey, he slept most of the rest of the day. Danny had a repaired lip and palate, but his palate was still very short and preventing him from being able to communicate very well. He is very smart and is a great joy to everyone.
Jia and Zhuang are neighbors and both were fussy off and on during the day while they waited for their big moment. Zhuang’s ayi sang quietly to him all day, even while bathing, and we all enjoyed the music. After surgery, Zhuang was fussy, and Jia zonked the rest of the day.
Feng, whose surgery was the first of the day, slept most of the time after surgery. Her repair looks very nice, and her caregiver seemed very proud of it. Her caregiver is a man and is incredibly kind with her. Feng seemed to brighten up considerably when the oxygen tube was taken out of her nose.
In addition to the five children on our schedule, we were also able to sqeeze in a little 2 1/2-year-old boy whose first surgical repair had not healed well and needed some more work done to it.
During the afternoon, Terri, Paige, Zhang Ming, Helen, and I went to the Hefei SWI to visit some of the LWB children there. It is a very well run orphanage, and we were able to play with many of the children. We we were able to present two walkers to the SWI as a gift. One little girl with CP was even willing to demonstrate how much they might benefit her by trying hard to walk using one. She had such a pretty face, and I think she was so distracted by the glamor of the cameras flashing in her face that she had a hard time concentrating on walking. We ended the night by splitting into two groups; one group went to eat hot pot and the other group was treated to dinner by the Hefei SWI. The director and the vice-director could not make our invitation to dinner; they felt so badly they insisted that their clinical doctor , Dr. Li, treat us to dinner instead. It was a night of much toasting with Coca Cola; hopefully it will not inhibit the sleeping around here. Dr. Li is such a kind lady, and you can tell she cares very much for the children . At dinner she talked about many of the children individually. The most unusual part of the day was the fender bender we got into on the way home from the hospital. The streets are very crowded (more crowded than usual) because of the holiday, and a man turned right into our van. The damage to our van was minimal, but at least we can say we have been in a wreck in China. One thing to cross off of our “to do” list.
Our team is doing so well, and the children are doing wonderfully. Thanks to all of you back home who are praying for us and for thos of you who have supported this mission and the children. We want you to know that the people here are very grateful, and the results are stunning.
Goodnight from Hefei.
Wendy Petersen, R.N.
Medical Trips Coordinator