When Lives are Changed

On Thursday, I got the opportunity and privilege to observe surgery again.  So, I got into scrubs and headed down to the OR.  When I got down there, I got the honor to observe Dr. Leo Chang and his team working to remove a tumor from a ladies upper mandible (on the bone between the right eye and upper teeth). 

When I came into the Operating Theatre, Dr. Chang and his crew of nurses and technicians had already removed the majority of the tumor, about the size of a softball, after about two hours of surgery.  When asked, one of the nurses told me that they were still a couple hours away from finishing. 

While I watched, Dr. Chang and his team from around the world (literally, he is from England, the other doctor was from West Africa, and the nurses were from Australia and New Zealand I believe) started to reconstruct the muscles of the face.  Using one of the analogies of the nurses, It was kinda like fixing a jig-saw puzzle. 

While they continued to work, I carefully maneuvered around and took some pictures.  I was reminded a number of times, by almost every nurse that came in, of the official Mercy Ships policy on photography:  ‘You cannot publish photos of patients.”  The privacy of the patients is something that Mercy Ships is insistent on.  While these surgeries change their lives, they are still people and still need to be respected as such. 

After about three hours of observing, I had to part ways, mostly due to the fact that there was a fire drill at some point that afternoon.  It took another two to three hours for Dr. Chang and his team to finish reconstructing the muscles of the ladies face. 

It was an honor to be able to observe Dr. Leo Chang and his team work the long hours to change this womans life.  It will be forever changed and she will be forever thankful for their hard work and dedication. 

God Bless and PEACE

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