TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: DAY FOUR

Source: Blog Post

Work hard and play hard – that was our motto today.  Like the rest of the week our day began early at 6:30 AM with a slow ride through traffic to get from the Blue Cottage to the PECHC.  A drive that would normally only take 10-15 minutes takes about an hour, and sometimes longer, in the morning rush hour.

On the bright side, it gives us all a great chance to talk to one another, game plan for cases, and discuss politics.  We are very grateful to the PECHC and their drivers who pick us up and drop us off each day.  After surviving the morning rush hour we first stopped in to check on Rico to see how he and his PUP flap were doing.  Both looked great and we did his first dressing change.

He is very stoic and seems to be holding up well after such a big surgery.  While they were setting up the OR we stopped in to harass the school kids while they were eating breakfast.


The more we hang around and interact with the kids the more they open up and the funnier they get.  Malachi, the young man in the red shirt at the head of the table, has affectionately been dubbed “The Mayor” by the team.  He told Dr. Kozin this morning that he wasn’t going to school today, instead he was going to do surgery.  These kids are great and they really seem to have a strong sense of friendship with one another – the PECHC is doing great things for the children!  Our first and only surgery patient today was Daniel, who was also celebrating his 16th birthday today!

After birthday well-wishes were expressed we sent him to the OR.  He had spastic elbow and wrist contractures that we addressed.  We started at the elbow where we performed a brachioradialis myotomy and released the brachialis fascia which greatly improved his motion.  We then turned to the wrist where we released palmaris, FCU, and Z-lengthened FCR.  We then transferred ECU to ECRB.  All of this adding up to a better looking and more functional positioning of the arm and hand.

Next, we headed to clinic.  We again saw a lot of interesting pathology, including this young man with bilateral ulnar deficiency.

It was amazing to see how well he has adapted!  We were also able to see several follow-ups from surgery and clinic last year.  
Renelle had a one-bone forearm procedure last year to take her forearm out of extreme supination and into a more functional pronated position – as you can see she is very happy with the result.

We also had the return of Tristan, who had surgery last year by the team for bilateral clasped thumb deformities.  He is happy despite the fact that only one of his thumbs fused appropriately.

With the work part of the day completed, we turned our attention to the playing.  We went on a driving tour of Port-of-Spain, the Trinidadian capital, with our fun and charismatic tour guide Jan Sirjusingh, who doubles as CEO of the PECHC during the day.  If that job doesn’t work out then she definitely has a future as a tour guide!  On the tour we also saw the busiest KFC in the world.

Dr. Araujo, his wife Judy, and Jan then escorted us to dinner and a movie.  We went to see a locally filmed & produced film titled “Bazodee”.


I won’t name names, but one of those in the photo below qualified for a senior discount…

…and here are the ticket stubs to prove it.

The film stars local musician and celebrity Machel Montano and was very entertaining with great music – which apparently really resonated with Dr. Weiland as he continued to play Soca music on his phone through the rest of the evening.  As we were exiting the theatre we had a great surprise – two of the film’s stars just happened to be at the same showing.  We couldn’t let them go away without harassing them, as you can see in the photo of Dr. Weiland and others talking to one of the actors.

After the excitement of our celebrity encounter, we went out to dinner and “lime” (Google “lime Trini slang” for meaning) at a great fusion restaurant called Chaud.  We shared great food, drinks, and laughter.


What a great night after another great day in Trinidad.  Tomorrow is our last day in Trinidad – crazy how quickly the time has passed – we must really be having a lot of fun!