Honduras: Day 3

Source: Blog Post

Day 3 in Honduras got off to a great start. We were privileged to get to see the MHOTIVO School here in San Pedro Sula, which was founded by the Canahuati family, our local hosts.  They take children from areas at high-risk for gang activity and enroll them in a wonderful school that gives them a first-rate, bilingual education.  

All 1200 students are supported by scholarships. We were treated to musical performances and the children were extremely eloquent about what the school has meant to them and their families. We also found out that one of the students from the school was a child that we were operating on after a fireworks injury to his hand. They were very happy to hear that he was doing well.

After this we were off to the hospital for a full day in the OR. In fact, three of the team members had to skip the school in order to get things started in the OR early. When the rest of the team joined it was full throttle. We had a busy day in the OR with 10 patients. One was a 42-year-old man who after a motorcycle injury had an upper trunk brachial plexus injury. He got a radial to axillary nerve transfer for shoulder abduction. He was also planned to have a spinal accessory to suprascapular transfer, but luckily his suprascapular nerve was stimulating when it was identified and so he hopefully will gain back his rotator cuff function on his own.

Another very impactful case today was a four-year-old girl who sustained severe burn injuries to almost all of her body when she was in a house fire at age one. She had a severe contraction of her right wrist and hand. Her wrist was flexed down to 90°, her MPs were hyperextended by 75°, and all of her fingers were scarred into one large, contracted syndactyly. We released the wrist and MP contractures to get her to neutral it both joints. We hope that this is stage one of what will be a multi-step process and reconstructing her arm and hand so that she can function more independently as she grows up. 

The team operated until late, but these and the other cases certainly made it worthwhile.  We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
  -Winston Churchill