Day 2 of our surgical mission trip was triage day. The DCSGO team was at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center by 7 AM and the waiting room was full with patients to be evaluated. As I mentioned before, Christmas is in full swing so along with ID badges several team members and staff of the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center were issued antler headbands or Santa hats. Then one by one, patiently, each patient was seen by either Dr. Seremetis, Dr. Sanchez, or Dr. Iyer. Appropriate patients were scheduled for care or surgery.
To raise spirits Ronald McDonald and Santa Claus made a visit today. Papa Noel was a crowd pleaser. Smiles followed and the waiting time seemed to be shortened. But kids will be kids, and given a sanctuary to play most children will exercise their right to use their imagination, being transported away by action figues or pretent airplanes. While the day was long it was nice to begin our interactions with the families. Those who started with tears ended with smiles, a good beginning in itself.
Later in the afternoon, a small group went to Las Conchas to see a community supported by the Shalom Foundation. It was a bumpy drive but a welcoming place. We visited with two families, delivered some special gifts and prayers, and visited the school. It was an experience of mixed emotions to get a real glimpse of the lives and homes of those served by the Shalom Foundation, but when you find friendly smiles amidst hardship you can also see deep appreciation.
Tomorrow surgery begins.