Dell Children”s Surgical Global Outreach sent a surgical urology team to Guatemala City, the capitol of Guatemala, for seven days to treat under-served children in need of urology-related surgeries and/or treatment. Our team members are Dr. George Seremetis and Dr. Danielle Sweeney – Surgical Urologists, Sheri Valencia, R.N., Sherry Culverwell, R.N., Wanda Whitaker, Surgical Technician, Vidya Matyi, Scrub Technician, Leilani Briseno, Surgical Technician, Michelle Walker, R.N., Dr. Wayne Porter, Anesthesiologist, Dr. Kirsten Nieto, Pediatrician, Tanja Abercrombie, C.R.N.A., Anneke Paterson, photographer and director of social meida, Ofelia Izquierdo, R.N., Dr. Scott Brandt, anesthesiologist, Dr. Matt Roberts, anesthesiologist, and Nola Ray, C.R.N.A. All anesthesia providers are members of Capitol Anesthesiology Association.
We spent our first day in Guatemala City touring the sights, sounds, and tastes, of the beautiful city. We had landed around 12 PM, without any hassle from the airport over our medical equipment, which saved us a lot of time to settle in to our hotel and even explore a little bit.
We took a tour bus, “la tourismo”, of course, that took us closer to the center of the city. We were able to see the Our Lady of Sorrows Church, which was a beautiful introduction to the architecture and color of the city culture, as well as a surprising find – three pieces of the Berlin Wall, courtesy of Germany. Some were brave enough to sample the street food here.
We were then able to walk around one of many market places with flower, vegetable, fruit, textile, and meat vendors. Some members of our team bought mangoes and avocados…it all looked so good! Many of us decided to wait to buy textiles until we go to Antigua later this week.
After our tour, we went to a lovely restaurant called Kacao, courtesy of Dr. Seremetis. We all hit the hay early, so we could be bright eyed for tomorrow”s triage of 100 potential patients, as well as set up of the two operating rooms we would be using.
Surgeries being tomorrow! So far there are 20 patients signed up, with some expected add-on”s throughout the week.
We started the day with post-op rounds to check on the patients from yesterday. We found lots of happy faces ready to go home. Then we moved on to a busy surgery day, and also screened over 20 kids for surgery either this week or in the future. Here’s a handful of photos from today.
We arrived in Guatemala City after a very smooth travel experience. Flight & customs went very smoothly. We had a tour or the Shalom Foundation”s Moore Pediatric Surgery Center with orientation and meeting of the staff. There will be 140 children coming to preop, but not all will be having surgery this time.
Tomorrow we get started…