Pediatric Neurosurgical Trip
Hydrocephalus is one of the most common treatable causes of neurological disability and death in the developing world. Since the initiation of the Project Medishare hydrocephalus program in 2003, over 500 children have had surgery to treat their hydrocephalus at no charge to the family. A pediatric neurosurgical trip was just made in October to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. Ashley McNeil, a University of Miami student, was on this trip and shared her experience:
“October 2011 Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare Ashley McNeil
Another successful pediatric neurosurgical trip was made to Haiti this past October with an amazing group of very talented neurosurgeons, OR staff, anesthesia team, and other volunteers. I watched every single person make contributions of impact to the noble cause that we were all there for. Whether it was in the OR with a scalpel, making charts for the children to bring some sort of organization to the chaos, or watching over the chilly babies in post-op with a hot air blower, everyone’s personal skill sets were of great value and enabled operations to run smoothly and successfully. I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I have for the time, attention to detail, and compassion everyone gave to the patients. I can only imagine how grateful the Haitian people were to have us there. Over 20 surgeries were performed, with most of the children having hydrocephalus and needing a shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Most operations were done for babies who, even with larger than normal heads, were all very adorable. One of the OR nurses on the trip with us from Dupont Children’s Hospital brought bags full of what she called “pillow case dresses”. They were pillowcases that were sewn into dresses, made by women in her church to give out to the baby girls that were operated on. The dresses were beautiful and it was evident how much time and thought had gone into each dress’s pattern and design. It seems like a small gesture in a country faced with so much poverty and desperation, but it is kind acts like this, and medical trips such as ours, that provide hope to the country and can greatly impact a lot of people without us even realizing. I am impressed each and every time I go back to Haiti with how big a difference Project Medishare volunteers can make in the Haitian people’s lives using their individual skills and resources. Maguy, as always, was of great help to the babies, families and team and we really appreciate everything she has done and continues to do for us. And of course, thank you to Project Medishare for everything!”
Thank you Ashley for sharing your experience! Please click here to learn more about the Hydrocephalus program.