Closing out the mission is both chaotic and poignant. A final clinic is held for all surgery patients. Dressings are changed, and instructions for care are given. In most cases the initial post-surgery pain has abated and patients and family express their gratitude and wonder.
The night before there was a great celebration back in the auditorium where we opened our mission. The Sri Sri Sri was present and again offered his blessing. The local medical students and faculty entertained us with traditional and modern Indian songs and dances and then we adjourned downstairs to a great banquet at which everyone - students, patients and their families, and volunteers - was invited.
Now it is time to pack up all the instruments and supplies. We came with twenty eight heavy boxes or instrument cases. We will return home with eighteen.
Hospital interns are briefed on the supplies that we will leave behind.
Over one hundred forty came hoping for surgery and over eighty had operations. The benefits from the surgeries that were done will flow out for as long as these young patients live. They all have a new lease on life, new hope, better health, and happier days ahead. The volunteers will all depart with this knowledge and a deep satisfaction in their hearts that in this remote countryside of India, half the way around the globe, they have made the world a better place.
Mother and child in the post-op ward
Big sister keeps company
Submitted August 20, 2012: R. McAulay