I am very thankful to Dr. Bale, Socorro and the whole ISHI team for giving me the opportunity to go to this mission. I grew up in this little city of Ormoc and having lived in the US for almost 25 years, I'm always looking for ideas to help my less fortunate Ormocanons. This mission was my chance to do just that. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing their very grateful faces. My experience was wonderful. The whole ISHI team, from the surgeons to the anesthesia team, nurses and the entire ancillary service, everyone was wonderful, competent and hardworking. In behalf of the people in Ormoc, thank you so much and hoping to join you on your next mission.
Our last day in Ormoc City is here. One last rounds on the inpatients and it's a wrap. All of the planning and worries are behind us and time to reflect on everything we did. I've been on a few missions now and each one is special in it's own way. Some challenge your knowledge, some challenge your patience and others your endurance. This mission helped me raise my own personal bar. It's a satisfying feeling to meet your own goals. Always something new to learn. Always a great feeling when you've past your own expectations. We did approximately 85 minor cases. Enough lumps and bumps to build a new person:) I could not accomplish any of this without this ISHI team. Such dedicated, talented and patient people. I am so very proud to be part of this organization. I have to thank the wonderful nurses Rose, MJ, and RR that helped me in the minor surgery area. Their dedication and tireless work was so appreciated. Made my job easy!
Today was our last day at Ormoc Hospital . We did some hernias , thyroid, breast masses and some minor lumps & bumps. We were down to our last supplies & as we were winding down, all our exhaustion brought renewed energy when we started packing our boxes and segregating other supplies that we were giving away.
For me, this is one of the most rewarding part of my job. To come back to my country and be able to share my time and talent , to serve.
It made me realize how lucky we are back in the States to have all these state of the art equipment & supplies to treat our patients and how it helps us perform our job faster & more efficiently.
Most of all, ISHI gave me this opportunity to meet all the wonderful people ( the ISHI volunteers) that make up this organization, Dr. Asha Bale , Cathy, Dr. Chia-Chi, Dr. Ravi , Dr Dennis and Dr Potian, all the other medical residents and nurses & most of all Socorro. They are so eager to work & passionate about the work they do- they're also fun and upbeat. This week has been absolutely a great experience!
Thank you ISHI and hope to be there in the next mission!
Eileen(1st time volunteer)
This is our last day in Ormoc city. We thank the city for their generosity and all the locals who have helped to make this volunteer trip a success. We will have many great memories of the Philippines and won't soon forget the incredible experiences. We have made many lifelong friends along the way and appreciate having the opportunity to work with Ishi.Asha and Ravi
Day three of our mission work was another great one. We saw 300+ patients, about 90 of them being seen by the pediatrician Dr Graciosa. We have seen a lot of cough/colds/fever/runny noses in both children and adults. There have been many goiters, masses, cysts, abscesses, insect/infestation bites, skin infections, UTI's, scabies, TB, patients with asthma, hypertension and diabetes. We have encountered so many patients that have never been able to see a doctor before. For example, I saw a woman in her 70s who complained of back pain and headaches for 3 years. Upon further history, the patient had fallen down the stairs 3 years ago and was enable to pay to be seen in the emergency room. In the US, we see a doctor and worry about paying the bill later. According to the patients, in Ormoc you only see a doctor if you can pay them up front.
Thus, the surgical team has been busy helping patients with disfiguring and life-threatening issues, some of them have lived years or decades with their complaints. Parents will wait the whole day to be seen, just so they can be sure their babies ailments are addressed. Today Dr Graciosa gave the father of a pediatric patients his own lunch because they had waited all day to be seen and couldn't eat lunch. I have so far had such an amazing experiance working with these wonderful thankful people.
They have shown such great appreciation for us. Thank you Dr F Barte, Dr O Barte, Dr and Mrs Ghandi, Dr and Mrs Khanna, Dr Garciosa, all my nursing friends, Dr Asha and the wonderful surgical team and all the volunteers who are helping the city of Ormoc!!!
Arrived in Ormoc CIty after a 2 hour catamaran ride from Cebu- Headed to hospital to do triage and were greeted by about 70 patients- Everyone evaluated and schedule formed for the week- We are still a bit jet lagged but ready to go!
Today was our first full day of surgeries in Ormoc. Having assessed about 60 patients yesterday, we scheduled most of them for the entire week. This morning, between 3 operating rooms, we scheduled to perform 5 inguinal hernia repairs, 3 thyroidectomies, 1 neck mass excision, and 1 ovarian mass resection. However, the rest of the day brought even more patients than we anticipated -- guess the word spread pretty fast. By the end of the day, we added another 2 breast mass excisions to today's cases, and basically maxed out the rest of the week with at least another 10 major cases that need to be scheduled. And this doesn't even include all the minor surgeries that we did today (about 12) and will be doing (about 70 more!) outside of the OR!! Basically, we will have a full week ahead of us ~ of course, with all the challenges that come with operating without all the high-tech amenities of surgical technology at our fingertips ~ but that's the best part about being a volunteer surgeon here, knowing that even though we may not have all our usual toys and gadgets, we can still use our basic surgical skills to help people and ultimately change lives. Thanks, ISHI, for giving us a chance to be a blessing and share our skills with people around the world!! - Maria Ham, MD