The Final Days of Surgeries

After our final surgery was stabilized in the ICU, Fekade (Dr. Fekadesilassie) took us to tour the “other” Addis hospital. I solemnly swear to keep my opinions to myself and my photos unbiased. These kids’ families asked me to come in and take pics of them. I don’t know what they were in for and I […]

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The Surgeries, part 3

19 February 2015 Our third day of surgeries and everyone did great. K. is 12 yo, is 4’7″ (139 cm) and weighs 52 lbs (24 kg). The surgeons repaired her mitral valve with an annuloplasty ring to fix the leaking around it and some some artificial chordae to help hold the repaired valve in place. Chordae are your […]

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The Surgeries, part 2

18 February 2015 Sun! Glorious sun! I got up early to sit out on the roof and soak up those gorgeous rays and read and journal. The sun sets around seven here so once it went down I just went back to bed. I told the girls I was going to wait for a ride […]

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The Surgeries, part 1

17 February 2015 Surgeries started today! I tried staying up as late as I could, but I only lasted until about midnight. The other gals were up early to get to the hospital but I’m covering the night shifts. I got up at 7:30 to stash some of the hostel’s free breakfast away for later, […]

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Meet the Patients

16 February 2015 The mission had ten patients to choose from and only six surgeries planned. On Monday we went to the Cardiac Centre to see what supplies they had, check out the ICU, and start screening patients. Wells, Sandy, Adessa, and I went to meet our patients before the screenings to get some of […]

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Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia

15 February 2015 I woke up with a foggy memory of a scream in the night and some commotion from the girls. They were sharing a double bed while I took the mattress on the floor. No offense, I just don’t sleep well with anyone but my husband, who I spoon and coodle and cuddle […]

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Intro to Addis Ababa

14 February 2015 Our first Ethiopian coffee and a gorgeous sunrise- Lion King style- on our flight to Addis Ababa. I love this continent. Ethiopian Airlines was a real gem. Though only a two hour flight from Nairobi we still got a piping hot breakfast of seasoned, spicy potatoes and a fluffy egg loaf. After […]

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The Long Way to Africa

12-13 February 2015                     We took a delay out of Great Falls, which when you fly with Delta means you get lots of snacks and drinks to appease you so you don’t get cranky with the airline. The gate agent didn’t want us to starve in […]

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Children’s Fund of Ethiopia

Dr. Stephen Tahta and his wife Stefne of Missoula, Montana started the Children’s Fund of Ethiopia- an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of Rheumatic Heart Valve Disease (RHVD). It is estimated RHVD kills over 400,000 people each year worldwide, most often children and young adults. Rheumatic fever (RF) is the main culprit behind […]

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Medical Mission: Ethiopia

I’ve been a cardiac intensive care nurse my entire career and my real nursing passion is recovering open heart surgery patients. Open heart surgeries don’t go to recovery rooms like most surgeries- they go straight to the intensive care unit (ICU) often still sedated on a breathing machine (ventilator). Initially they require 2:1 nursing- one […]

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