Lube Tech Day and More – Liberia 2017
We have had a wonderful, emotional and successful last two days of surgeries here at Firestone Duside Hospital! Thanks to the generosity of Lube Tech employees and the Bame Foundation, all of Wednesday’s surgeries were supported by Lube Tech! Some of the children and families whose lives were changed thanks to Lube Tech’s generosity, include:
- Three-month-old Pauline came to us with a painful umbilical hernia. Her mom, Catherine, told us she heard CSI was coming and they’ve been waiting anxiously for us to arrive. Catherine is unemployed, and dad is a rubber tree tapper for Firestone. They have very little money. She told us she was very scared at first but now is grateful and happy we could help her daughter. Catherine said as we were leaving her and Pauline: “Please come back so you can help others.”
- Habakkuk’s cleft lip surgery was so successful and his appearance so transformed even his mother almost didn’t recognize him afterward. In the recovery room after surgery, she fed him his first real bottle of formula, and he took it like a champ. Mom Ruth, 19, and Habakkuk traveled more than 4 hours to get here – she is so grateful: “Thank you Thank you!!!” she said.
- One of the most heartbreaking stories we heard this week was about five-year-old Daniel. Daniel has an inguinal hernia. He came to Firestone Duside Hospital with his father Stephen – they traveled two days by bus and spent their savings to get here. He heard about us from his sister who heard about it on the radio. Daniel’s parents can’t find steady work (unemployment in Liberia is at least 75%) and any money they make goes to feed the family and pay for housing. They’ve been saving up for three years, hoping CSI would one day return after the Ebola crisis ended. Daniel’s surgery was successful and he will live pain free from this moment on. His dad Stephen says “Thank you to the whole family of Lube Tech for coming here and helping him.”
- Thirteen year old Marie came to us with a large mass in her neck. ENT Drs. Phillip and Jon Robitschek spent three hours in surgery with her. Unchecked, we can expect the mass would have become even more large, painful, and increasingly subject to infection. Marie came through the surgery brilliantly, and is now recovering in the pediatric ward.
- Korpo and Peter are siblings, brought to us by their mother. Her husband is a driver for Firestone. “Thank you so very much for this very happiest of days!” she exclaimed.
- Nine year old A.B. came with his aunt Gorma, A.B. was born with a cleft lip. He is mocked at school and has difficulty eating and speaking. His aunt heard about the mission on the radio. She’s very happy: “For my “son” I say thank you!” Now that he has received this surgery, he will likely return to his mother who he misses very much.
In addition to these amazing life-changing surgeries, the CSI team has been busy working alongside their Liberian colleagues, providing education and training. Each day includes lectures and hands-on training at all stages of care. Topics included airway management, pain management, facial nerve disorders, caring for the child with hypospadias, pediatric urology and more.
More photos from Liberia.