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Guatemala City Mission – Day 4

Some kids come in to the MPSC and they immediately catch your eye. That’s saying something because on the first day in the clinic there are people everywhere. Chairs lined down both sides of the hallway with kids sitting in their parent’s laps. Other families are waiting in the courtyard. Then there are the nurses and volunteers who are moving between rooms helping out where they are needed. But amidst all that movement, you find yourself stopping and smiling at a specific baby. Something about their face, the way they are bouncing in their mother’s lap, captures your attention. If you are lucky enough to speak Spanish, you can stop and chat. Or if you are like me, ask for an interpreter. Today I’d like to tell you about some of these kids who have captured our hearts this week. Oneysi – 9yrs old The first things you notice about Oneysi are her curly hair and her shy smile. It’s not...

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Guatemala City Mission – Day 3

Today you get to meet the team! I am excited to introduce you to some of the people that I have been spending my days with. But before I begin, I would like to brag a little. You could not find a better group to work with. They are friendly, helpful, hardworking, and so thoughtful. Think about this: You show up at the Austin airport at 4AM and maybe you know a few people or maybe you don’t but over the next few days you will be making the trek through 3 airports with stacks of huge bags and cases full of equipment, you will unpack said bags at the MPSC where the majority of volunteers have never been before, you will help shuttle 120 kids plus their families through triage, and you will work 12+ hour days to accomplish 50 surgeries. Having a solid group of volunteers makes all of the above run so much more smoothly. Without further delay… Ann Perry...

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Guatemala City Mission – Day 3

Today you get to meet the team! I am excited to introduce you to some of the people that I have been spending my days with. But before I begin, I would like to brag a little. You could not find a better group to work with. They are friendly, helpful, hardworking, and so thoughtful. Think about this: You show up at the Austin airport at 4AM and maybe you know a few people or maybe you don’t but over the next few days you will be making the trek through 3 airports with stacks of huge bags and cases full of equipment, you will unpack said bags at the MPSC where the majority of volunteers have never been before, you will help shuttle 120 kids plus their families through triage, and you will work 12+ hour days to accomplish 50 surgeries. Having a solid group of volunteers makes all of the above run so much more smoothly. Without further...

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Guatemala City Mission – Day 2

Today is the first surgery day! We have 13 surgeries scheduled today and Triage is the place to be first thing in the morning. The patients are already at MPSC, prepped and waiting with their families in the post-op rooms. Anthony leaves the Triage room to grab our first three patients. As soon as they walk through the door, everyone scrambles in to action. Two nurses and two doctors start taking pre-op vitals for each child. One volunteer is taking before photos to attach to the child’s medical file which will be handed over to the surgeons. Another volunteer is stationed at a computer in the corner, entering the patient information into the Austin Smiles database. A handful of other volunteers are in the room and using puppets, balloon animals, stickers, and elmo videos to distract the crying babies who have been NPO (no food or drink orally since midnight) on doctor’s orders. Through all of this, parents are still...

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Guatemala City Mission – Day 2

Today is the first surgery day! We have 13 surgeries scheduled today and Triage is the place to be first thing in the morning. The patients are already at MPSC, prepped and waiting with their families in the post-op rooms. Anthony leaves the Triage room to grab our first three patients. As soon as they walk through the door, everyone scrambles in to action. Two nurses and two doctors start taking pre-op vitals for each child. One volunteer is taking before photos to attach to the child’s medical file which will be handed over to the surgeons. Another volunteer is stationed at a computer in the corner, entering the patient information into the Austin Smiles database. A handful of other volunteers are in the room and using puppets, balloon animals, stickers, and elmo videos to distract the crying babies who have been NPO (no food or drink orally since midnight) on doctor’s orders.   Through all of this, parents are...

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