Screening – A Joyous Return to Liberia

Saturday was a busy and exciting screening day for the CSI team at Duside Hospital. Seeing the faces of staff when we pulled up to the hospital was better than any reunion imaginable. They all remembered the names of those of us who were returning and were excited to meet the new among us as we return for the first time since 2013. As we walked down the halls at the hospital, conducting screening, setting up the ORs and sorting supplies, every uniformed staff person greeted us with a gracious, simple, “Thank you.”

The parents and children waited patiently with the hope of receiving good news from our team. We screened 78 patients, and have scheduled surgeries to start on Monday. The team expects to complete 55-60 procedures. One mother stood up and emotionally expressed her gratitude when she learned that her infant daughter would be receiving medical care from CSI.

We especially want to thank Firestone and Don Darden for the many months of planning that has gone into making CSI’s long-awaited return to Liberia a reality. Post-Ebola, the Duside Hospital has been repainted, including every nook and cranny. The hospital literally shines. Firestone’s Guest House, which is where we stay, has also been repainted and replanted, and all repairs glow.

When the  2013 CSI Liberia team prepared to leave the country, they stored supplies in a hospital storeroom. Of course, at the time we had no idea that the Ebola crisis would hit the region, forcing CSI to cancel missions. The hospital staff diligently guarded the supplies until our return this week. We sorted through the supplies today, and were happy to come upon donations from Dollies Making A Difference, a California non-profit group that creates dolls and bears for children around the world in need of something special. We are so grateful to them, and the many other organizations that have helped us get here.

We ended our day with a presentation from Don Darden about Firestone’s history in Liberia and the role it plays in Liberians’ lives, which is significant. We were joined at dinner by a group of Liberian Firestone employees.

Enjoy more photos from the Liberia trip here.