Day four of surgeries went very well. We performed 23 procedures on 16 patients. Grand total for the four days was 65 patients and 82 joints. The hospital beds were full!! More patients are being discharged every day. The unit is super busy with nurses providing patient care, physical therapists providing treatment, and physicians doing post-surgical rounding. And of course the technical staff, moving and maintaining supply lines.
Last night was the team appreciation dinner. We gathered at a beautiful local restaurant. The Team from Operation Walk was joined by the Antigua Hospital team to share in the joy and the happiness of a wonderfully successful mission. The meal began with a blessing from one of the Franciscan Friars, Ernesto Palma. He blessed us and thanked us work our work and our kindness. He blessed the people, both the Hospital staff and the Operation Walk Team. He blessed our work, and he thanked us and reminded us that because we do this work for some of the poorest and neediest of God’s people, we therefore are doing the greatest good. He blessed our skills, our dedication, and our generosity. He also blessed the United States of America. We were all very proud!!
Then he and the Hospital Administration called each of our names and we walked up to receive a certificate that the Hospital had prepared for each of us. It was a small and simply token of their appreciation. But everyone took great pride in hearing their own name called and the names of their teammates. It helped remind us of all the different people and skills that come together to make the mission successful.
During the dinner, staff were treated to a video slide show of many of the moments from the week, captured on film and set to music. Again it was another great opportunity to reflect on a wonderful mission. After dinner, Kim Murray, thanked all of us for our efforts and for a wonder mission.