Saturday, May 30th

Deep, Down, Dark   In his book Deep, Down, Dark about the thirty-three Chilean miners who were trapped and then rescued after sixty-nine days from the Copiapo San Jose mine in 2010, Hector Tobar describes how people can pull together and periodically fall apart while making a miracle happen.  This last week our team screened a great deal of people and promised to try to surgically fix a few.  Then came the execution part.   If I didn’t understand how lucky and pampered I am at home, I sure do now.  We were Deep in wounds without adequate retractors.  Down was electricity, suction strength and working drills.  Dark in the wound without any type of adequate lighting made for very stressful conditions.  Our prime directives were to do more good than harm, teach the young doctors and show respect to our hosts.  Like the miners, I felt moments that I was going to fail, and though the danger was not to me, someone’s life and health were certainly at risk if I did.  But also like the miners, I found my way when I remembered success would not come because of me.  It came because of my reliance on asking for help.   What a fantastic team was around me.  Drs. Isidor and Gerald, the anesthesia team, the scrub techs Boaz and Albert, OR director Mr. Lema and all the nurses.  Our American team, Brandon and Chad, Julie and Emily all pitched in, supporting from behind us, or critical to getting the right equipment in my hands or retracting tissues, suctioning and cleaning bone for a fusion.  Gayle is and forever will be the Angel Rock of HOPE and came through as only she can.  My deep gratitude and respect to all for your giving ways and for your sacrifices.   I suspect all of you know from where the most important help came.   All praise be to God.  Thank You for Your guidance and strength, Your wisdom and power, Your peace and grace.  Thank You for bringing me here, for providing the biology of healing ways and for giving us the talents we all share.  Thank You for Your son, Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice forever reminds us of the importance of infinite and unconditional love, and the power of forgiveness.   Peace be with all of you.   Ralph Reeder     Sent from my iPad   CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:  This E-mail (includinattachments) is covered by the Electronic CommunicatiPrivacy Act, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510-2521, is confidential and may be legally privileged.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.  Please reply to the sender that you have received the message in error then delete it.  Tha