Monday, August 10, 2009

Chad and Carlyn Jackson arrive at Medical Mission

We were pleased that Chad and Carlyn could come observe the medical mission a couple of days. One of their firms provided some of the doctors and nurses for the mission, so they have a personal interest in the medical mission work.
The Jackson Family Foundation is providing funds for heart surgeries, funding the construction of the orphanage in Zigong, and will also support the children in that facility. We are very grateful for their generous contribution to our work in China. We are blessed to have them on our team to bring a better life to poor children.

The medical team has completed about 60 surgeries, but some of them are revisions. We had hoped to have at least 100 new patients with cleft palate or cleft lip. Our workers are still calling families and trying to schedule about 10 surgeries per day. Some people are bringing in children that had bad surgeries in the past and want them performed again. Our surgeons are making the decision whether another surgery would improve the scar and if it should be done. I have seen one or two that did not look bad at all, so it is risky to put a child through another surgery just for a minor improvement in the lip. It is possible that it might look worse with more scar tissue.

An old grandmother has been at the hospital all day trying to get us to do surgery on her granddaughter. She is about four years old and cannot talk. She had cleft palate surgery about a year ago. Unless the surgery is done before they start talking, many never learn to speak properly. The surgeons explained that no surgery will improve her speech. She will need speech therapy, but we know they can never afford that. After the grandmother was convinced they would not do the surgery again, she asked if they would do surgery on the child’s nose and make it look better. I’m sure everyone felt like laughing, but were nice enough not to.

A man walked in with a bad lip scar from an automobile wreck some time ago. The Chinese nurses turned him away and said we would not help him. Jackie, our worker, went after him and told him to come back because our surgeons will do it. We are trying to help as many people as we can.

The Chinese nurses have been less than cooperative on this mission. I know they feel threatened that Americans have come in and taken over, but it has put a strain on getting things accomplished in an efficient manner. Chinese nurses were in charge of the ward last night. At 8:00 a.m. this morning, most of the patients who had surgery on Friday were checked by the doctors and dismissed to go home. One child was scheduled for surgery at 7 a.m. but the nurse let the mother feed the child. The child could not have surgery until this afternoon because it must fast at least 6 hours before surgery.

Two heart surgeries are scheduled this week. I heard Ron say Chad and Carlyn might want to observe. When we were in China in May, Ron asked me if I would like to observe a heart surgery. I gave him a blank look and said, “Do you want to pick me up off of the floor when I faint? I look away when someone is getting a shot on ER, so how could I possibly observe a surgery?” I am very grateful for doctors and nurses and those who work in health care, but I’m glad I chose the secretarial field for my career.

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