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Endless patients

July 21, 2009

In Kenya as in many other African countries, you have to be careful of taking pictures.   I was actually stopped by security for taking a picture of billboard advertising a Sushi restaurant in Nairobi.  So I haven’t taken many pictures of the patients that Ginnie & I are helping care for.  I wish I could show you the line of patients that’s here.  It’s 6pm now in Kenya and she still has a long line of patients to echo.  I guess word is getting around that there is a new heart doctor in town. esophagectomy Certainly life has been interesting in the OR for me as well.  My first full day I assisted on an attempted esophagectomy (removing the esophagus for cancer).  Unfortunately, the cancer had spread in this pleasant 54 year old gentelman, and seven days later he got severly sick and I had to put him back in the unit today.

It’s been great to be back in the OR.  For a resident the experience is pretty amazing, I’ve worked on brains, stomachs, bowels and extremities all in the space of 5 days.  I could do even more if I had the energy to do it all.  But certainly not everything has a good outcome.  I already told you about my esophageal cancer patient.  My stomach cancer patient was also inoperable on exploration today.  While I was placing the feeding tubes for this last patient I had to emergently scrub out to care for a young lady who came into the theater (OR as it’s called in this former British colony) after suffering a severe trauma.  She was on a Matotuu (spelling is phonetic sorry to those who know how to spell it).  A Matotuu is really a severely overloaded truck or car.  People are usually standing on bumpers etc. going from once place to another.  This young woman unfortunately suffered a traumatic amputation of her right hand and unfortunately she had such severe damage to her right shoulder we had to amputate her entire right arm in the OR.  She also has a several neck deformity from the accident.  It will be very hard for her to adjust to this I’m sure.  But there are plenty of victories here too.  I’ve operated on three patients with severe intra-abdominal infections of various etiologies.   Fortunately they are doing very well and about to go home.  I’ll have to write more later, I need to head back up to the OR can see what’s going on with the trauma patient.   I’m on call tomorrow night, but I’ll try to post something if call isn’t crazy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Renita permalink
    July 23, 2009 12:03 am

    I am enjoying following your reports on a nearly real-time basis. Thank you for taking the time to share them as I am sure that time is precious. Thank you for allowing yourselves to be such a blessing. Praying for you.

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