Menu

Guatemala City Mission – Day 2

Today is the first surgery day! We have 13 surgeries scheduled today and Triage is the place to be first thing in the morning. The patients are already at MPSC, prepped and waiting with their families in the post-op rooms. Anthony leaves the Triage room to grab our first three patients. As soon as they walk through the door, everyone scrambles in to action. Two nurses and two doctors start taking pre-op vitals for each child. One volunteer is taking before photos to attach to the child’s medical file which will be handed over to the surgeons. Another volunteer is stationed at a computer in the corner, entering the patient information into the Austin Smiles database. A handful of other volunteers are in the room and using puppets, balloon animals, stickers, and elmo videos to distract the crying babies who have been NPO (no food or drink orally since midnight) on doctor’s orders. Through all of this, parents are still...

Read More

Guatemala City Mission – Day 2

Today is the first surgery day! We have 13 surgeries scheduled today and Triage is the place to be first thing in the morning. The patients are already at MPSC, prepped and waiting with their families in the post-op rooms. Anthony leaves the Triage room to grab our first three patients. As soon as they walk through the door, everyone scrambles in to action. Two nurses and two doctors start taking pre-op vitals for each child. One volunteer is taking before photos to attach to the child’s medical file which will be handed over to the surgeons. Another volunteer is stationed at a computer in the corner, entering the patient information into the Austin Smiles database. A handful of other volunteers are in the room and using puppets, balloon animals, stickers, and elmo videos to distract the crying babies who have been NPO (no food or drink orally since midnight) on doctor’s orders.   Through all of this, parents are...

Read More

Guatemala City mission – Day 1

Hello from Guatemala City! The team’s all here! Day 1 started bright and early as we gathered for breakfast at 6:15AM before making our way to the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center (MPSC) where the entire MPSC team greeted us outside. We had a quick tour of the facility and overview of the week ahead before the teams split up to tackle their jobs. First up is the triage room located on the ground floor. This is where patients go when they first arrive. An RN will check the child’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, oxygen saturation, height, weight, and look for any sign of fever. Volunteers help organize the patients and their mothers into lines in the hallway. From there, they are ushered into their second stop – another triage room down the hall where our mission directors and plastic surgeons convene to set the surgery schedule for the week. For any other Austin Smiles trip-newbies, day 1 is where each child is brought in for assessment by...

Read More

Guatemala City mission – Day 1

Hello from Guatemala City! The team’s all here! Day 1 started bright and early as we gathered for breakfast at 6:15AM before making our way to the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center (MPSC) where the entire MPSC team greeted us outside. We had a quick tour of the facility and overview of the week ahead before the teams split up to tackle their jobs. First up is the triage room located on the ground floor. This is where patients go when they first arrive. An RN will check the child’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, oxygen saturation, height, weight, and look for any sign of fever. Volunteers help organize the patients and their mothers into lines in the hallway. From there, they are ushered into their second stop – another triage room down the hall where our mission directors and plastic surgeons convene to set the surgery schedule for the week. For any other Austin Smiles trip-newbies, day 1 is where each child is...

Read More

Unwritten

“I want to thank the surgeons and the nurses with all my heart for their work…It means so much to me.” — Ishmael’s mom As the last patient is wheeled to recovery, boxes are being packed and stacked, I look around the room and realize how much we haven’t captured with words and pictures that I wish we could share about this life changing week…   “El Salvador is my favorite… the staff is so gracious, and the people are so happy despite the poverty and lack of resources” — Keller Matthews, Anesthesia “I am afraid. I have had 5 surgeries. I hope this one will be my last” — Miriam, age 27 “I love to come on these trips because I can help make people whole” — Liz, Post Op “I am speechless!” — Victor’s mom “This trip affirms that I love what I do” — Laura Guerrero, Triage “These kids face lifelong surgeries and come back to us...

Read More