TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: DAY FIVE

Source: Blog Post

Our final day in Trinidad.  What an amazing week!  I don’t think any of us are the same people that arrived on the island late Sunday night.  It has been a busy and unbelievable week.

After our usual hour commute through traffic we arrived at the PECHC to do our final surgeries of the week.  Our first patient was Stacey, who is a wonderful woman with a history of sickle cell disease.

Years ago she had a gangrenous infection in her hand leading to a middle finger ray amputation.  In the time since, she has slowly developed intrinsic tightness which we released today.

Once we released the lateral bands adjacent to the area of the ray resection she had immediate improvement in function.

With a little therapy and her continued determination, she will have a much more functional hand.  Our second case unfortunately was a no-show, so we moved on to our final scheduled case.  Chris, who works at the PECHC, hand an open index finger proximal phalanx fracture several years ago.

He was left with a fixed contracture of the PIP joint at 45⁰.  We were able to do an extensor tendon tenolysis and improve his range-of-motion.

Again, a little more therapy and work is ahead, but we hope that we have given him a better hand, and with that a chance to continue serving the children of the PECHC.  With no other surgeries on the docket, we cleaned up and packed the supplies that needed to be returned the THP headquarters to be used for other missions.  We then said our goodbyes to the OR staff…

the clinic staff…

and the wonderful ladies of the cafeteria crew.

We owe a big debt of gratitude to the leadership, staff, and children of the Princess Elizabeth Centre for Handicapped Children!  Without them, none of this would be possible.  We appreciate their kindness, hospitality, professionalism, and patience!  Our THP team was proud to work alongside each and every one of our friends of the PECHC. 

Another special thanks to Michael Mootoo for all of his help with the team and for taking many of the great photos this week!

Dr. Godfrey Araujo was amazing!  The work he put in behind the scenes in preparation for our mission was more than I’m sure we’ll ever know, but we truly appreciate it. Our week and work went smoothly without any hiccups.  He and his wife were incredible hosts.  They welcomed us into their country, home, and family – making us feel at home from the day we arrived.

After our goodbyes, Dr. Araujo had one more treat in store for the THP team.  We were escorted to one of the small islands off the northwest coast of Trinidad to enjoy an afternoon of relaxation and swimming in the ocean at the island retreat of Dr. David Toby, a local pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.

While there, we were treated to another great meal with curry duck and other Indian fare – wow!

It was a great chance for the team to enjoy one another’s company, reminisce, and relax.

And just when we thought the day couldn’t get more amazing, we met the man who truly may be the most interesting man in the world, a man whose description cannot be stated in simple written words – so be sure to ask a team member about gentleman simply known as …Stones.