Busy day! – Liberia 2019

It is end of a very busy day. We screened 90+ patients and currently have 78 scheduled for surgery. Our four CSI volunteer surgeons — Dave Vandersteen and Janelle Fox (urology) and David Andrews (general pediatric surgery) and Eric Moore (ENT) — will be performing surgery this week, as well as teaching local surgeons and residents. Many of our patients from 2018 have returned for follow-up or for the second phase of their urologic surgery.

Screening day started off with making a medical record for each potential patient. This was done by Jim Koppel, Ethan Moore and Micki Klearman — all first-time CSI mission team members. Basic information was gathered, and photos were taken before the children and their mother/father/auntie were directed to see the appropriate surgeon.  

Patients were assessed, and if they were a good surgical candidate they were then seen by our nurses to check weight and vital signs. The last step is to see one of our pediatricians, Drs. Dave Tetzlaff and Jesse Hennum, to make sure the children are healthy enough for surgery.

The Firestone Duside physicians, led by Dr. Wollor, have done a thorough job of prescreening potential patients during the year before our arrival. Parents and patients wait all day until everyone is screened and the surgeons create their semifinal schedules.

Parents are so thankful that they jump up and down when the schedule is read. The patients and a parent are able to stay on the Firestone hospital campus — sleeping and eating free of charge until their day of surgery. Unfortunately, as always, we had to turn away patients as our schedules quickly filled up. We do our best to either have the surgeries performed by in-country physicians or to keep the patients’ contact information for our next trip.

The team is tired after a busy day, but we are excited for the week ahead as we will be performing life-changing surgeries on many deserving children.  

~ Anna Koppel, RN

View our entire photo album from Liberia here.