Legacy of Healing is a non-profit organization based in Denver, but most of the members are from Dayton, Ohio. My connection to the group goes to the days that I lived in Dayton while I was an attending plastic surgeon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The 50 individuals on this trip brought a wide variety of skills as well as a great knack to work together in adverse conditions) to form cohesive medical, surgical, and community outreach teams.
There is a backstory on the logistics of setting up an independent surgical service. As is routine for such missions around the world, we brought our own supplies from sutures to anesthesia machines and everything else needed to provide surgical care from pre-op to discharge. Supplies were carried in over twenty bags checked as baggage by team members. Another 3,000 pounds of supplies were shipped in advance by DHL.
We arrived at the public hospital in Tamayo, Dominican Republic. Three surgical teams evaluated over 350 patients. Our teams are plastic surgery, general surgery and orthopedic hand surgery. The plastic surgery candidates presented with congenital anomalies, burn injuries, soft tissue masses, and disfiguring scars. Over 150 patients were scheduled for surgery, forty for plastic surgery.
We had an extremely productive and educational trip to Guyana! During the week we were there, our team completed over 150 successful operations. We also administered hundreds of medical treatments to patients who may have otherwise gone without treatment. I will let the photos speak for themselves. Both patients and doctors were pleased with the amazing week we had there.
On Sunday, the day after our arrival in Guyana, our entire team went to work. The surgeons and support staff went to the nearby Seventh Day Adventist church to see patients. Before our arrival, word of our mission had spread throughout the country with announcements, flyers, and by word-of-mouth through the medical community. Guyanese citizens from remote regions of the country traveled from afar to see us, and residents of Georgetown traveled only a few miles as they would to see their local doctor.
I recently traveled to Guyana, South America on a surgical mission. I have much to share from this mission and will post entries here in the coming days to to describe this amazing experience. On June 18, 2010, I departed for Guyana to join the Legacy of Healing team on a surgical mission. This was my third surgical mission, my first with Legacy of Healing. My first two missions were to Honduras.