We arrived at the hospital on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with our patients and families anxiously waiting for us. Dr. Capozzi was eagerly greeted by one of his patients. During the clinic, the surgeons and pediatricians assess each patient's progress, and would examine the surgical site. The children were excited, vibrant, and still a bit dazed from what they had undergone. There were big smiles (sonrisas grandes) throughout the morning. Everyone knew that they were part of something special that occurred during the mission. Rotaplast provided hope for our patients and families, and by doing so, changed the lives of these people forever.
After our two weeks of hard work, we enjoyed a farewell party with the hospital staff in the former PACU recovery room. A little bit a teasing occurred for two of the team members. During the mission, Dr. Shad Misseldine became engaged so the team gave him a "bachelor" party with the gift of a pinata.
We also wanted to "recognize" our sterilizer, Neal Bordenave from the Chico Rotary Club. The job of sterilizer is a lonely but important job. The sterilizer is constantly at work preparing the sterile trays that contain all of the surgical tools for each procedure. While Neal was sterilizing, he would be listening to an audio book "Surgery for Dummies" on his iPod, and not get very many breaks (henceforth the diapers on Super Man). Neal's pinata reflects how the team perceived his position of "Super Man-the sterilizer". Thanks Neal for taking the team's abuse!
Our San Salvador Rotarian hosts supplied a beautiful cake which was enormous! It was enough for the staff, team & the pediatric unit with the children. Rotaplast & Rotary unite for the opportunity to change lives.
Medical Director, Dr. Jim Callison using his honed surgical skills to cut the cake. Rotarian Dick Burkhalter is assisting.
Bonnie, Dr. Jim & Nurse Janice enjoying the farewell celebration.
There were clowns to entertin the children as they waited for their visit at the clinic.
The clowns were 2 fathers of previous Rotaplast patients.
The team packed up while the El Salvadorin army packed up the boxes so that we could get to the airport for departure. Our hearts & thoughts are with the Rotaplast still in Guatemala due to the volcano & the hurricane.