Travel concerns finally eased in late 2022 as the pandemic waned, allowing Surgeons of Hope to resume missions. We set to work organizing two surgical missions and one training exchange, all partially supported by welcome donations from our GlobalGiving friends. We thank you all for contributing toward our progress.
We sponsored a critical mission to Mexico with a small team to conduct an assessment at the Hospital Infantil de Mexico Federico Gomez. The hospital’s rich history and dedicated staff were an inspiration to our team. We had been asked to assess their program in view of a higher-than-average pediatric mortality rate at that hospital.
The SoH mission was headed by the renowned heart specialist Dr. Antonio Cabrera, and his associates from Salt Lake City, Utah. Richard Duron and Carolina Churchill, representatives from SOH, were also present for the assessment.
The mission proved to be especially significant as the visiting surgeon was asked to scrub into a life-saving surgery to correct a Tetralogy of Fallot. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the second leading cause of death among children under five years of age in Mexico.
In December we completed our first full surgical mission after the pandemic. Led by Dr. Dominique Metras, a team of medical professionals from France performed corrective surgeries for congenital heart defects on nine children at the Hospital Pediátrico "Niños de Acosta Ñu" in San Lorenzo. The team of two surgeons, a cardiologist, an anesthesiologist, a perfusionist, and three ICU nurses, collaborated with the hospital's cardiology team. The two Surgeons of Hope representatives who accompanied the team shared administrative expertise with their in-country partners, including representatives from the Ministry of Health. All surgeries were successful and the children are now thriving at home.
Training in Spain
Four nurses from Hospital Pediátrico Niños de Acosta Ñu in Paraguay received training. They were able to acquire best practices and knowledge in post-operative care for children who have undergone open heart surgery. The nurses participated in a one-month exchange training program at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón.
Specialized care for children who have undergone heart surgery is extremely important. Children need to be monitored closely in the intensive care unit (ICU) for several days or even weeks. During this time, they may require mechanical ventilation, medications to support their heart function and blood pressure, and careful monitoring of their fluid and electrolyte balance.
In addition to the hands-on critical care training, Surgeons of Hope arranged for the nurses to meet with a representative from Menudos Corazones, a non-profit organization based in Madrid, that provides a variety of resources, including peer support, educational materials, and advocacy initiatives to families with children who have congenital heart defects. The staff at Menudos Corazones provided the nurses with crucial resources for families in Paraguay to understand how to care for their children as they recuperate.
All of this progress would be impossible without the continuing support of you and our GlobalGiving partners who believe in what we are accomplishing, mission by mission, training by training. Thanks to your enduring generosity, Surgeons of Hope is fulfilling our vision of sustainable progress.
Healing comfort underway
A childhood restored