Diverse Surgery Brigade Gets Work Done

Latest brigade brings a wide variety of medical specialties, serving a record number of Honduran patients.
May 3, 2012 - Honduras

Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist Doctor Barth operates on a patient.

For one week in April, NPH Honduras hosted its second surgical brigade on-site at the Holy Family Surgery Center. Directed by Dr. Peter Daly and his wife Lulu Daly, the founders of the Surgery Center, this specific brigade brought doctors and medical personnel with a wide range of specialties; general, orthopedic, pediatric, ear, nose and throat, gynecologic consults and surgeons.

It was a diverse and diligent group. This brigade worked hard for eight straight days to provide first-world healthcare to a medically underserved Honduran population. The result was an impressive 800+ people that were helped by the visiting volunteer medical team.

The first few days of the brigade consisted mainly of medical consults where doctors and nurses, assisted by translators, worked with patients to assess their problems and see if they were appropriate for surgery or if another type of treatment could be administered. These days were long, beginning at 6:00 am and often not wrapping up until 6:00 or 7:00 pm. Once all the consults were done, the surgery days began. There were three operating rooms running simultaneously, and each were equipped with their own team of medical personal.

With so many doctors and nurses in one building, one might think there occasionally would be some clashing of heads. However, this was never the case. “It’s amazing how we can have forty to fifty people come down together and all do their specific part,” says Kate Clitheroe the Volunteer Coordinator of the Surgery Center. “Since we have to recruit medical personal from different practices, some people come here and don’t know any of the other staff, but everyone always works together very well.”

While the days were long, the personnel worked hard and a positive outlook was constant throughout the entire week. Much of this optimistic attitude came directly from the patients themselves, whom always were very grateful for the work of the brigade. “The patients are so appreciative of what we do and so easy to work with,” says Dr. Forseth an orthopedic surgeon from Minneapolis, Minnesota. “They’re genuine, happy, pleasant people to be around. Not to mention they’re extremely patient!”

Looking at all the people who were helped by this brigade, it’s quite easy to be impressed by the spectacular numbers. There were a total of 700+ medical consults and 94 total surgeries. After the last day of operations and the results were in, it wasn’t the numbers everyone was talking about, but instead it was the individual stories and specific cases that left an impression.

“The patients tell us their stories about really waiting a long time to get the surgeries that they’ve needed,” says Dr. Parisi a general surgeon from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “They always leave saying how grateful they are to have had the surgery, and they thank God for having the clinic here.” To watch a video telling the story of one specific story from our latest brigade, please follow this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QAxLhEsy04

The Holy Family Surgery Center, opened in 2009, hosts several medical brigades every year. If you are interested in becoming involved with the surgery center, please visit the Holy Family Surgery Center website: holyfamilysurgerycenter.org

Hunter Johnson   
Communication Officer




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