Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Successful Operations

The Italian medical mission was with us at the Cardiac Center for about a week.  The doctors started to do open heart surgery the day after their arrival. They completed operations on 10 children between the ages of 1 month to 16years old.  It was a 100% successful mission.

There was a mother of a two year old girl who I had the chance to converse with about my mission service to St Elizabeth Cardiac Center.  She expressed her gratitude and said, "You put a smile on our face with what you are doing. You know having a sick child is not easy because we have to bring her to the doctor many times and it costs a lot of money; then we have to travel from Yaounde to come here for my daughter's operation. You truly give us happiness knowing that you volunteer to help this hospital. God bless you for what you do." I was truly tearful to hear that someone appreciates my mission.

We are blessed that there is one German pediatrician, Dr Matthias, who came with the Italian team. He was our, what we call, intensivist , meaning he is with our patients for many hours every day as if he is their private doctor. He is truly very good and smart in taking care of each patient. He even extended his stay for three days after the Italians left. What a treat to witness this kind of situation and a re-enforcement to my mission.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Keeping Busy

St. Elizabeth Hospital cardiac center has been slow among the three areas of ICU, clinical ward  and Pre/Post surgical ward. In the clinical ward where I work at this time because we do not have patients in ICU has even less than 15 patients versus 40 bed capacity.

The sad part is our mortality rate is high mainly due to the patients’ critical condition when they come in to the hospital, especially the old ones. It feels depressing when at times there is an expiration in two shifts in a day. This does not affect my work attitude though. I get the hang of it now with my duty in the clinical ward.

Time goes much faster now with my schedule than before because I have a lot to do besides taking care of my patients. I am usually assigned to give medications and in between that I am all over the ward organizing whatever is needed.

June 19th will be the start of medical group mission again from Italy. I will be in ICU then.

Monday, April 10, 2017

ICU Updates

Good news!  Our ICU received a Recognition and Appreciation Certificate from the administration for a remarkable performance in 2016. What a rewarding feeling to be part of the cardiac center ICU as a Lay Mission-Helper! This was announced to us during our recent ICU meeting. We will have a group picture when most of us are more or less around as there are nurses who are on their annual leave.

The sad news is our very first patient who had open heart surgery last January and recovered miraculously in ICU passed away about three weeks after his transfer to the post-surgical ward. This was due to complications. At least I have witnessed the miracle of God’s work on a patient in ICU who the doctors thought there is nothing that can be done for him to live. Practically all of us who took care of him in ICU had a feeling of satisfaction and enthusiasm every time we came to work. (patient had a history of HIV)

We are working this month with a short-term anesthesiologist from Italy who is  assisting our local cardiac surgeon in operating on adult cardiac cases. Our future pediatric mission operation will be in June 2017.

During our ICU meeting one of the topics we discussed was about bedsores prevention and I was able to share my experience about it. I am finding out more information about the current approach in preventing its occurrence to bedridden patients from my former colleagues at Kaiser. Sr. Honorine, my supervisor in ICU, requested to find out the type of medical equipment that is being used now in California hospitals in preventing bedsores so she knows what to order here in Cameroon.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Successful Surgeries

St Elizabeth Catholic Hospital Cardiac Center just finished a week of Italian Medical Mission wherein 8 children ages 4 1/2 months to 11 years old had successful open heart surgeries. They are recovering well and there is only four of them left in ICU who are mainly being observed before they will be transferred to post clinical ward.

This week our local cardiac surgeon operated on his two adult patients. This keeps us busy in ICU.

The main problem of our hospital now is lack of water supply due to a long dry season. This affects the town of Kumbo and neighboring villages.