Jungle Surgeries in Huanta, Peru
Making a Difference - One Life at a Time

December 10 to 15, 2006

By Corrie Sample

WARNING!  Graphic photos of gory, bloody, real-life mission
surgical procedures ahead.  Not for the faint-hearted.

December 10, 2006 Ė Today we arrived in Huanta, the location for the surgeries performed using the money donated for our project, ďOne Life at a TimeĒ.  Here you see the health post where most of the surgeries were performed.  Inside we had two rooms at our disposal.  One we used as the operation room and the other as the recuperation room.  Neither room had much light and keeping a sterile field was difficult.  But we managed. :)




Tomasa had a tumor on her left leg.  Her surgery was completed on Sunday afternoon/evening (10th). 



The surgery went well with no complications. 







Jenny had a lot of fun I think, judging from the look on her face. :)








Though we didnít get started until practically dark so we had the challenge of no light other than a flashlight. 








Tomasa was so thankful to get rid of the tumor on her leg.  She kept coming back every day we were there just to tell us thank you all over again. She was a fun lady too. Her sense of humor was great. :)








Liz was not on our original list of people to do surgeries for, but the cyst above her eye demanded attention and removal.  Since we were there and had all the tools needed, we did it for her. 






It was a short surgery with no complications.  The cyst did burst in the middle of the operation though, so we had to do a good job of cleaning the site. 







Albertado was a 76 yr. old with a very large testicular hernia that he has had for 3 or 4 years.  Bad news.  He was so excited about the possibility of getting it fixed.  We did not expect any complications so Dr. Matthews began the surgery and was 15 minutes away from being able to seal the hole when I noticed a huge drop in pulse and blood pressure.  Not good signs.  Plus he was getting lethargic and unresponsive. 

The surgery had to be aborted because he was going into cardiac arrest.  Dr. Richard and Jenni broke sterile field in order to do chest compressions and start an IV to get meds to him quick.  He came back, but we were unable to fix the hernia.  We kept him in the recovery room for the night in order to keep an eye on him.




Halfway through the week we had a visitor that came half running half jumping into our operation room.  We caught him and Jenni put him in her pocket. 







We had him for 3 days before he got away.  Most of the time he stayed in my pocket since his jumping out of the pocket was unpredictable.  She was often very near the sterile field and if he had jumped . . . .  Not a good scenario!





I didnít catch the name of this lady, but she had a Lipoma in her upper abdomen that we were able to remove. 









The majority of our patients were not on our original list of people who needed treatment.  When they showed up, we treated them. 










Ronel had a major egg on the back of his skull. 










It turned out to be the bloodiest of the surgeries performed.  Of course, being on the scalp its understandable.




Richard had to clamp a couple of blood vessels that were squirting at us before he could close it up, but there was nothing serious.  It was one of the more fun ones to watch. :)




This is the church in Huanta.  We hung our hammocks inside and made ourselves at home.  It was very good accommodations.  We had to keep as clean and organized as possible though, because they did have some evening meetings in the church while we were there.    




This is Dorina and Vidal with their daughter.  Oh, and I guess Iím there too. 
They were the missionary family there in Huanta.  They did a lot of the running around for us, making sure the patients all knew we were there and making sure that we got food. 
They worked in Huanta for all of 2006. 

They are working in a different village (Orellana) for the year of 2007. 
They do an excellent job!

~ Corrie ~

Webmaster's Note: Corrie could have joined the Student Missionary group during vacation as they explored Inca ruins, backpacked in the Andes and explored places of interest in Peru, Bolivia & Ecuador.  However, she chose instead to accompany the surgery team, which would not have been able to carry out this mission without her help.

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