Greetings from Davao, Philippines. The rains have been coming nearly every evening, pushing the humidity to the max. Our little lawn is a bit shaggy. Where are the goats when you need them?
The operating rooms were busy yet again. Stumps were revised and fingers released. Several crooked feet were straightened. A dislocated hip was placed into joint. Tendons were moved to power limbs. As the pain of surgery lessened, the playroom drew the kids and families to times of fun and conversation. Experiences were shared and smiles returned.
Thursday clinic was hectic. Current patients met those coming to CURE for the first time, as well as other children further along the road to healing. Parents coming can see some of the possibilities. Lollipops and bubbles brighten the waiting areas. My US office was never quite like Tebow CURE!
Clinic can be stressful as every week I seem to see conditions that are new to me. My mind races through options. I’ve deemed some of these cases “cup of coffee” conditions. I take pictures of the challenges and later, over coffee, contemplate options, review literature, and sometimes utilize the expertise of friends who are much smarter than I. Hopefully, a plan will emerge. Sometimes, the answer is, “Stay away; you will only make it worse,” but more often than not a plan emerges from a cloudy picture, and off we go.
Experience has allowed some deformities that used to terrify me and other CURE surgeons to become common. Common does not mean easy, but possible. How about a seven-year-old from a remote area with a neglected, advanced clubfoot deformity? We’ve done that! Or maybe a four-year-old girl with a dislocated hip who never received treatment. Yep! A child born with no thumb but who has four good fingers; can we make a thumb? Yes. Legs with twists and turns to baffle the imagination? Oh yeah! How about a child with post-infectious hydrocephalus with a swollen head greater than the size of a basketball? We have seen many of those cases!
I am very proud to be among CURE’s orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons who face these challenges every week. Would you like to join us as a surgeon? We will teach you how to perform these surgeries and more! If this is beyond your comfort zone, I understand; I am always dancing on the edge. But these kids need you to be uncomfortable and help them!
Maybe you wish to step out and help in other ways. CURE needs your support! We need finances to provide care for our patients. We need bone plates and screws to fix bones. We need shunts and scopes to treat hydrocephalus. We need suture. We need Bibles. We need computers. We need your prayers. There is always an opportunity to help. We need you to step out in faith!
This week had times of sorrow, times of joy, and busy times of clinic and surgery. On Friday morning, as I was about to enter the girls ward, I heard four young girls singing so sweetly. I just smiled. The song changed to laughter as I entered the room.
I know for sure that I am right where God wants me. I am in His grip.