Source: Blog Post

Wow, another great day for the THP Team in Trinidad!  Dr. Kozin was picked up bright and early by Dr. Araujo for their special appearance on local TV.  The appearance on Good Morning Trinidad & Tobago was another great opportunity to spread the gospel of the Touching Hands Project.  Watch a clip of the interview here and let Drs. Kozin & Araujo know what you think about their movie star potential.

Once the make-up was removed we arrived at the PECHC where we toured the school portion of facility.

We were kindly met by many of the Centre’s leadership, including the school principal who was a former student at the school.  We were introduced to the children who beautifully serenaded us with their national song. 

After exiting the school we first checked in on Crystal, our median & ulnar nerve graft patient from yesterday.  She was in good spirits and already had improved motion and less pain from simply addressing the scar tissue she had.  She is motivated to get better and, with the help of Carmen Aponte, OT, will get a personalized rehab plan to maximize her potential for a good outcome.

The team then temporarily split up.  

Dr. Weiland led part of the group to the OR to treat 61-year-old Ingrid, who looks much closer to 40 than 60 – must be all that good island living – which also made Dr. Randy Brenn and Kim Russo, CRNA of the anesthesia team happy!

Ingrid had chronic rheumatoid Boutonniere deformities of the middle and ring fingers and reconstructions of each finger were performed.  

This case again underscores the value and need for experienced surgeons to volunteer as Dr. Weiland’s experience with rheumatoid arthritis, which in the U.S. is so successfully treated with medications, was invaluable in achieving a great result.

While Dr. Weiland was busy whittling away in the OR, Dr. Kozin got things rolling in the clinic by terrifying children as he examined them.

The morning clinic was filled with pediatric patients that included various pathologies including brachial plexus, cerebral palsy, and other congenital abnormalities.

We were also able to see several patients that were operated on by last year’s THP team, such as this young girl with brachial plexopathy who underwent muscle/tendon transfers to restore shoulder motion.

Apparently syndactyly is so common that even bananas get it!

Don’t worry, we have a great solution for this problem.

Following lunch it was time to see adults in clinic.  Dr. Weiland led the charge in evaluating patients with a variety of conditions and injuries.  One of the most impressive was an 82-year-old woman with very advanced rheumatoid hand deformities.

Each patient generated a great amount of discussion and teaching for all present, including the patients.  Plans were made to take some to the OR this week while others will be treated at another time.

Our day was capped by a wonderful evening at Dr. Araujo’s home.  Godfrey, his wife, and other family members were great hosts.  The food was amazing, the weather was perfect, and the discussion lively.

The evening allowed us to learn more about the Trinidadian history and culture and also create and strengthen the bonds of friendship and partnership.  With some effort we forced ourselves to stop eating and we returned back to the Blue Cottage to rest up for tomorrow – can’t wait to see what to it brings!