Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our day started early today.  We were at the hospital by 7:30a so that Dr. Zellers could check on our cardiac cath cases from yesterday, and to get our two cath cases for the day started earlier.  Heylin, who had a diagnostic echo done Thursday, had a baloon cath done to widen her pulmonary artery.  The second case was Issac who was having a patent ductus closed.  Both children did wonderful during their procedures, and Heylin was sent home by 4pm.
Our number of cases was much less than expected today.  We think it was because of the amount of rain yesterday, which impedes travel here.  Jexial was the first echo to check on his stint, placed yesterday.  He was doing great!
We saw several children with Downs Syndrome, where cardiac problems are common.  There were many very small babies early in the day also.  At the end of the day we had to 18 year olds who had murmers their entire lives. We were excited to be able to tell several families that their children would be fine without any interventions.  All the others...will be able to be helped, hopefully, in the fall.
We were joined today by Dr. Paz, who is in training to become a cardiac surgeon.  He is Honduran, and is being supported in his education by the Friends of Barnabas Foundation.  He is a great guy, and we really enjoyed having him with us.
This evening we are being treated to dinner at the home of Dr. Fonseca, who is a cardiologist at Cemesa Hospital.  We are looking forward to a fun evening, and an early trip home tomorrow.
Thanks for all  your prayers and support. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another day done

Our afternoon was full of caths being done and difficult patients.  All the caths were a success.  All 5.  We had three children who came in with very low blood oxygen levels.  These children will be greatly helped by surgery or theraputic caths done in Sept.  There were several very unusual cases, with complicated malformations of their hearts.
There is great fear when you allow you children to go into a surgical suite with people who are strange to you in so many ways.  The tears after successful procedures are contagious, as are the Gracias a Dios prayers verbalized.  All patients were stable when we left the hospital at 8pm.
Our final tally for the day was 5 caths, and 23 echos.  Tomorrow schedule is 2 caths, and who knows how many echos.
We are sitting around the table sharing the day, talking about cases seen and sharing highs and lows.  
Thank you for continued prayers for all.

Friday morning on the run...

The hallway was full again as we arrived at Cemisa Hospital for the day's clinic.  Today will have Dr. Zeller doing 5 cath procedures.  The list for echocardiogram evaluations continues to grow.  Little Kensy is the first case to do a cath on.  I am excited to report that the procedure was a success!  Immediately following the surgery, her oxygen levels went from the 40's to the 70's.  God is good!  His hands are working through everyone involved.
We have seen several babies this morning.  Several of them will just be watched as they grow.  Their heart defects are not severe enough to need intervention at this time.
We have seen a set of sisters.  Claudia is 17 and Dilcia is 15.  They both have atrial septal defects.  Claudia's will be repaired in September.  Dilcia's is a little more complicated, but attempts will be made to repair her's also.  Mom stated that they both have been so sick since they were small.  A doctor had told her what the problems were, but never told her there was possible way of fixing the problem.  She left very hopeful for both girls. 
It is now 11:30a.  We have completed to caths and 10 echos....the day continues.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

After getting up at 3am, getting picked up at 4am, and taking off at 6am, two flights and 6 hours later...we have arrived at Cemisa Hospital on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula Honduras.  We saw our first patient at 1:30p.  Kensy is a 6 month old with a heart defect called transposition of the great vessels.  It basically is where the main vessels leaving the heart are switched, sending unoxygenated blood to the body.  Unless there is another defect, specifically a opening between the two sides of the heart, there is no oxygen going to feed the body.  So....first thing tomorrow morning, Kensy will have a cardiac cath done.  During the procedure a opening will be made between her atrium to allow blood flow to begin in the right direction.  This is will allow the Friends of Barnabas Foundation some time to arrange for her to come to the states for open heart surgery.  Our prayers are that this temporary fix really will give her more time. 
In all we saw 15 patients (with all having echos done) between 1:30 and 8:30pm.  Whew!  Some tired puppies here..and we are just starting.
Our team is made up three doctors, one med student, one sonographer, two nurses and three support people.  Most are from the Dallas area. 
All but three of our patients will be having either a cardiac cath or open heart surgery in Sept when the full FOBF surgery team comes.  One of those three children could not be helped.  Meidy is a 7 month old.  She has a grossly enlarged heart due to myocarditis.  She has taken all the medications that she can.  If she was in the US she would be on a transplant list.  Watching the doctors share this news with the parents was very difficult.  We want to help them all, but sometimes that just can't happen.  Please pray for Meidy and her family.
We enjoyed little ones who wore sparkly shoes, handing out stickers and encouraging smiles.  The day is filled tomorrow with 5 caths and a total of 22 for evaluation.