Our October 2015 Surgical Mission has been concluded and it was yet another undeniable success! This mission was a bit of an anomaly as we focused on only orthopedics. While there, we not only did Amatitlan’s first Total Hip Replacement, but also their first arthroscopy. Our ability to perform arthroscopic procedures in Amatitlan was primarily the result of the extremely kind and generous grant that Storz made to MOA! Storz has been a strong supporter of MOA’s effort to deliver surgical care to some of the poorest of the poor. I’d like to express our most sincere gratitude and thanks to Storz and their wonderful team. The majority of the open surgeries were directed at correcting conditions that had previously undergone multiple failed surgeries or that were long established deformities that resulted from inadequate treatment or often, no treatment at all. Medical Imaging Solutions continued their support of MOA’s efforts to provide advanced imaging modalities to the poor of Guatemala; their donation of the C-arm fluoroscopy unit greatly expedited many of the surgical procedures affording us greater efficiency.
The National Hospital of Amatitlan has been stricken with some extreme hardships and is in a bit of crisis due to a lack of even the most basic supplies and equipment. The delivery rooms had to be closed due to equipment and other associated issues. MOA was able to help the hospital by sending a 40 foot sea-container down that contained anesthesia machines, a neonatal warmer, C-arm fluoroscopy unit, crutches, walkers, an operating room table and 35 hospital bed mattresses as well as cases of soap, sheets, blankets, etc. The hospital is still in dire need. If you are able or know someone who might be able to assist us in collecting supplies to send to the hospital, please let me know.
Many thanks go out to all the supporters that allow us to make these missions possible. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
Cartersville Medical Center for their donation of functional equipment that is being upgraded and for graciously allowing the staff to assist us in our sterilization needs.
The many donors (and the collectors!) who donated and collected clothing, bedding, shoe wear, etc. as well as financial donations.
The many vendors who have offered support where appropriate.
My family (and to my many friends) for their continued, unwavering support of MOA’s efforts.
I always find these missions to be very rewarding, but probably more importantly, extremely humbling. I encourage everyone to join MOA on one of our missions; certainly the lives you touch in Guatemala will be forever changed. More significantly, I think you will find that it is YOUR life that is the most dramatically changed. Many, many thanks to the team members who made the sacrifice of time, money and effort to join us on this mission. You guys are the best!!
Ed Atwell, M.D.
To learn more about MOA, please visit MedicalOutreachOfAmerica.com
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