Thursday, May 28th

Thursday, May 28th:

WOW…What a day we had! Thank you God for being with us and providing us with love, strength and guidance. I said some special prayers this morning as I know we had some very delicate and long surgeries. Our driver dropped off Ralph, Chad and I at Bugando Medical Centre where we were going to do surgeries. The rest of the group and Julius went to work at an HIV clinic that is sponsored and funded by Baylor University.

Our surgical team was dressed and ready to operate and we had to wait for the Tanzanian team to show up, so did not get started until 930 am. Nothing new to the team, as time is not of high value here. This is something I have come to somewhat appreciate, as my sister Nai from Africa asked me when she was in the states..where are you hurrying up to go?” It is a pleasure to work with the the OR staff. Everyone is so friendly and hard to tell which are the doctors and which are the techs. Since I have been coming to Mwanza for some years, I have established alot of friends in the hospital and it is always a pleasure to see my friends again.

We had som very delicate spine surgeries. Ralph did an awesome job and continued to teach everyone in the OR. His presence is going to make a lasting impact with the staff at Bugando through his teaching. That is what Hope Ministries is about…teaching. The first case was surgery on the patients cervical area. In the middle of the case when Ralph is ready to put in a screw the patient moved and anesthesia rushed to give the patient more medications. Ralph was so nervous when that happened. We said some prayers that all would be well with this lovely man. The surgery took us 4 1/2 hours. The next case took 3 hours and was a difficult fusion, decompression and laminectomy. Finally about 8 pm when we finished we were all exhausted and could not do any more. The sad thing is that 2 people did not get their surgeries. Chad received alot of experience with scrubbing and assisting with surgeries. He also learned how to clean bone for putting in the implants. He is going to go home with a whole lot of experience and knowledge.

We then went to check on our postop patients. The first older man was in the ICU and we rejoiced when he was moving all of his extremities. He kept telling us how happy he was that God sent us and over and over again said God bless you for you work here. I feel in love with this guy. Such a lovely man.

We then dragged ourselves back to the hotel where we met up with the rest of the team. Julie, Brandon, Emily and Julius spent the day at the HIV clinic and touring orphanages for potential use by Hope Ministries, which I really appreciated. It was exciting to hear about their experiences. This team is just awesome. The saw many orphaned children and homes for street kids. Always hard to hear the stories of the orphans. Tomorrow is our last day at Bugando and as always will be hard to say goodbye.

Thanks for all the prayers. Please continue to pray for the team.