Today was our last day at the hospital. We had one surgery scheduled and the patient party to prepare for as well as all our equipment to be inventoried and packed away for the next mission. The dream of a self sustained Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program at the Kath Hospital is becoming a reality. This year the OR team separated a complete OR tray of instruments so Dr. Okyere can continue to operate on patients when we leave. The ICU donated equipment and supplies to the PICU to better help monitor and manage their patients.
It was a momentous day because we admitted our last patient into the new Kath Pediatric ICU. The local TV crew was onsite to film the last surgery and interview Dr. Fynn-Thompson and Dr. Issac Okyere.
The patient party is always very emotional. The administration thanked us, the parents prayed and blessed us and there was much singing and dancing. Dr. Okyere presented each child with a soccer ball, cleats and a bag of school supplies. We presented each child with printed photos from their time in the hospital.
Once the party ended the team piled into the bus and headed to the hotel. Tonight we are hosting the Kath hospital staff at the hotel to thank them for their hospitality and hard work. We need to have our bags packed and will be leaving for the Kumasi airport in the morning at 7am. We will spend the day in Accra doing last minute shopping until we board the plane at 10pm to head home to our loved ones. This has been an amazing team and an amazing trip.
Most of the patients have headed home, while a few remain in the hospital to be monitored until they fully recover. It has been an exhausting week, yet we are all exhilarated by what we have been able to accomplish in such a short time in Ghana. The reality will not hit some of us until we are home and have had time to process what we have seen and experienced during the mission.
I wanted to give a special thank you to Bev, Judy and Christine for their dedication and long hours of organizing the trip. A special thank you to Francis for without his vision for the children of Ghana, the mission would not be possible.
Tomorrow we will begin the long journey home. I have only provided you with a peek of what we have experienced this week. I am sure your family members will fill in the blanks and share their personal experiences.