Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Blind Receive Sight, The Lame Walk...

One of the unique opportunities that one has serving with Mercy Ships is to be able to sign up and observe a surgery. This is a great privilege in that one is able to be in the Operating Theatre with the surgeon, and to be able to see exactly what happens. However, this is not for the faint-hearted.

And so I went and observed a surgery yesterday. Before entering the Operating Rooms, I had to don scrubs, as well as a head covering and plastic shoe coverings. I'm sure they have a proper name, but I'm too ignorant to know it. I was also told that if at any point during the surgery I begin to feel rather hot, then I must immediately step outside. This is the first sign of fainting. Step 1: Step outside. Step 2: Take off the mask. Step 3: Get fresh air. Thankfully I didn't need to leave the room, other than to get some water.

The procedure I observed was in the Orthopaedic Operating Room, and thus I had to wear a face mask and, of course, not touch anything that had been sterilised. I'm not familiar with the proper terminology, but the surgery I watched involved repairing the right humerus, the bone that runs from the shoulder down to the elbow. In this case, the man had been shot several years ago, and so his humerus was broken in two, making his arm useless. So what the surgeons did was they went and cut open his arm and then inserted a metal plate which was screwed in, to hold the broken bone together. They also took some bone from his hip and put this between the two broken pieces, so that in time they'll fuse together.

This surgery took around three hours, but what amazed me was how calm, skilled and dedicated these doctors are. There were two surgeons performing the actual surgery, and they were assisted by an OR Nurse and an anaethetist, as well as a few other nurses. We are certainly blessed by our skilled health care workers here on the Mercy Ship. They certainly bring plenty of hope and healing to Liberia's people. I am reminded of Matthew 11: 5 and I end this entry by quoting from Jesus in the NIV version:

The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

No comments: