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Heart Surgery and Chai

July 23, 2009
Cardiac surgery

Cardiac surgery

Almost finished

Almost finished

Today was an exciting day for us both.  We were part of a cardiac surgery here at Tenwek.  A young man was unfortunate enough to acquire rheumatic heart disease.  However, this young man only acquired the narrowing of his mitral valve with no regurgitation.  Thus Dr. Russ White was able to dilate the narrowed valve while off pump (cardiac bypass).  It was quite bizarre to see Russ’s finger across the mitral valve on my TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram – ultrasound of the heart from the esophagus) in the beating heart.  Following the procedure the young man appeared to have a good result.

This afternoon was a busy day for me (Ginnie).  The word has spread there is a pediatric cardiologist in town.  Thankfully, today was not as tearful as yesterday.  Two of the staff here have been instrumental in helping me with my pediatric cardiology clinic.  Patty (a medical resident) has been my co-pilot.  Reuben works in endoscopy and has helped with paperwork, scheduling and  also has served to interpret my English into the Kipsigis dialect.  Both Patty and Reuben have had the difficult task of translating bad news to the mothers and fathers.  I could tell is took a toll on both of them.  I am very thankful for all their help.

Chai time

Chai time

Chai is what happens at the hospital everyday around mid-morning.  The hospital staff all take a break to drink Chai (milk and Tea).  To us American’s Chai time can be annoying because we are still working and nothing can get done.  But yet maybe we all need a little break everyday.

Tomorrow we leave Tenwek for Nairobi around noon.  We then fly to Amsterdam tomorrow evening and will eventually be home on Saturday afternoon.  It sounds like Noah has really been missing us, especially at bedtime.  Both of us have been homesick for Noah and Esther.  It has been difficult being away from them for these last few weeks.  However, the experience here has been a blessing in so many ways.

Pediatric Ward

Pediatric Ward

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 24, 2009 11:05 am

    Such amazing things you have seen and done. Thanks for writing about it!

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