Doing, Teaching, Learning – Liberia 2019

The day starts early at the Firestone Liberia guest house. If I listen closely from my room above the dining hall I can hear the staff at work on our breakfast by 4 a.m. There are eggs to crack, bacon to fry, pancakes to grill, and fruit that won’t cut itself. The food here is delicious, and I eat too much.

We are on the bus by 6:30 a.m. Some days I can see Venus in the west as we leave the guest house. We lose the sky to fog as we drive inland, winding our way through the rubber plantation to the hospital. By the time we reach the hospital, daylight is full and the air is warming.

My day starts off with a bustle as I gather supplies for the cases I’m assigned. I check the oxygen supply (twice), make sure there is anesthetic in the vaporizer and more at hand if needed, and prepare the drugs for the nerve blocks that I’ll perform once each patient is asleep. We have 25 surgeries scheduled for the day. General surgeon Dr. David Andrews spends time in the OR helping a Liberian colleague polish his surgical technique. Midday, CSI nurse educator Dody Barr takes a break from her work in the pre-op area to present a lecture on newborn resuscitation.

After work, it’s back to the guest house for dinner and relaxation. Dinner is on the table at 7:15 and we are finished eating by 8. The staff cleans up and does what prep they can as we will all be back at it again in tomorrow.

Doing, teaching and learning. That’s our day, and we are grateful for it!

~ Kevin Healy, MD – CSI anesthesia volunteer

Click here to see more photos from Liberia, 2019.