Sunday: First day of surgery in Hermosillo

It it Sunday at the CIMA Hospital in Hermosillo and CSI has a full day of Surgery. Dr. Bob Tibesar has 6 patients; Dr. Jon Grischkan has 5 and Dr. Mike Fritz 6. The cases vary in length depending on the complexity of the surgery to be performed. The patients getting surgery today spent the night at a nearby hotel and have been at the hospital since this morning waiting for their time slot. One of the patient’s mother works far away as a walnut picker. She didn’t have enough money to pay to come to Hermosillo so her fellow workers; others who pick walnuts, each gave up the money they spend each day on a soda, and donated it to her.

When the patients check in, they are met in pre-op by anesthesia staff who readies them for the OR. Dr. Chris Altman is the head anesthesiologist. The OR’s are staffed by CRNA Cathy Cook from the Mayo Clinic, nurse anesthetist Jim Ducharme, OR nurse Mary Johnson, CRNA Tricia Rude and OR nurses Staci Linn Swenson and Dee Ann Vander Pol, who is from Iowa. Surgeries are performed by Dr. Bob Tibesar from Minneapolis Childrens and Dr. Jon Grischkan from Columbus, Ohio, and Dr. Mike Fritz from the Cleveland Clinic. After the patients come out of surgery they are met by the pediatricians Dr. Paul Melchert and Dr. Greta Chen, as well as post op nurses Grace Nwaofune and Ann Schminski. After recovery they go to the pediatrics ward upstairs and are met by ward nurses Judy Nieuwenhuis from Iowa and Cheryl Shell from the Twin Cities.

The staff here at CIMA hospital is incredible, as are the many volunteers who arrive everyday and circle around repeating “is there anything that you need?” “What can I do for you?”. They help translate, keep us fed, fetch this or that, find patients, answer questions, get diet coke, drive us to Wal-Mart for supplies, track down lost luggage, etc etc etc. Each and every one of them make this mission a pure joy.