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We're Back!

The evening consisted of, a wonderful dinner, entertainment, provided by a group of local dancers, complete with full costume, and then more dancing as the dancers created a “conga-line” style dance and pulled many members from the audience into the dance!  What a great time............. Read More

The Panama Canal

After our last surgery for the day we gathered the group and all headed to the Panama Canal for some sightseeing.................... Read More

Last Day at the Hospital

Today was our last day at the hospital.  The atmosphere on and around the patient floor was very busy.  All the staff were concentrated in this one area.  Some were still performing therapy and providing nursing care to the patients..............

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Canoe

Discharge Planning Challenge!

One of our patients was recovery fairly well.  He had had a knee replacement.  He had been up and walking and bending properly.  But he was still not able to fully extend his leg as the doctors and therapists would have liked.  He was eager to go home, and was communicating to his medical team, that he would love to go home with some specific and additional discharge instructions that he could work on away from the hospital.

As the conversation continued the medical team asked about his home life.  Where did he live, what type of work did he do?  How did he get to the hospital and how would he get home?

Well it turns out that he had travel 4 hours in a canoe to get here!  And that in fact, was his transportation home as well!

Well, that convinced the medical team that until he couldn't be comfortable with a fully extend leg in a canoe for 4 hours, it was best that he stay a little longer and work with the therapist!

Frank Panzetta

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Teamwork, End of a Long Day

Transient

At the end of the day the team pulls together to care for the patients.  The surgeons are finished with surgery for the day, and head over to 4-1, for a chance to round with the patients and dialogue with the other doctors, nurses and therapists.

It gave me an opportunity for a photo op!

Frank Panzetta

A Visit From The First Lady

Today we had a visit from the First Lady. Her name is Marta Linares de Martinelli. It was very exciting. There was lots of media, and dignitaries, and well wishers. She toured the patient unit, and then briefly stopped near the OR to see some of the surgical staff. While in the patient unit she stopped by each bed side and greeted EVERY patient!

They were very excited to meet her! I can imagine what a thrill it must have been!

At the end of the tour we tried to gather as many of the staff as we could for a group photo.

The First Lady is the women in the center of the photo with the white shirt.

Frank Panzetta

The Staff with the First Lady

The Staff with the First Lady

A Visit From Jose

Mike, Jose, and Paul

Mike, Jose, and Paul

If you watch the Operation Walk Denver Video (from one of our earlier postings "Life Changing Impact") you will see the story of Jose.  A young man who had been a former patient of Operation Walk Denver.

As it mentioned in the video, often times they have former patient come back to meet with current patients, and offer them additional hope of the recovery that awaits them.

Here is Jose with Mike and Paul.

And by the way, I asked him, he was able to play soccer with his son!

Frank Panzetta

We Discharged our First Patient Today!

Some of the patients who had their surgeries on Friday had progressed with their physical therapy and recovery to the point where they were able to be discharged.  Amazing!  They are great patients.  Eager to work with the nursing staff and the physical therapists to do their part toward a speedy recovery.

With 3 days of surgery finished, 4-1 is a very busy place.  At the end of the today the unit was a buzz; because of the patients recovering, the nursing staff working, the doctors rounding, and families visiting.

It gave me an opportunity to pull some folks together for a group shot.

Frank Panzetta

Transient

Operating Room Caps

A native Panamanian women stopped by the Physician’s lounge.  She had been invited by Alfredo to stop by.  It was explained to us that her husband was the tribal chief.  She makes and sells various native Panamanian items including hand bags and OR Caps.  All hand made with native Panamanian colors and designs.  They were very popular!

Here is a photo of many of the caps laid out on the table.

Surgery Caps

Surgery Caps

Frank Panzetta

We're Getting Our Excercise

So the four main locations are: Our Patient Unit that we call 4-1, the Operating Rooms, the Recovery Area, and Sterilization Area

The Operating Room and the Recovery Area are located near one another.  But the others are not.  Basically there are three main areas.  OR/Recovery, 4-1 and Central Sterile.

All three places are located a fair distance from each other.  However the corridors that lead to each, all intersect at one point.  To give you some sense of distance, if you were at the intersection point it would be 150 yards to 4-1.  180 yards to Central Sterile, in a different direction, and 300 yards to the OR, in a third, different direction.

So... each trip to the OR and back from the unit is about a half mile.

Frank Panzetta