Our first day of operations! Our partner, Dr. Javier Galeano, and his team did 4 pacemaker surgeries. The materials gathered by the missioners that could not come have been a significant part of making this trip possible. Of course, the amazing generosity of our major corporate partner, Medtronic, makes the program even a possibility. We are grateful to them for these very important materials.
The hospital we are in is the teaching hospital for Paraguay and is in an over 100 year old, decrepit building that will be abandoned in a year for a new one donated by the Japanese government. Unfortunately it has been a number of years since they've been saying it's a year until the move.
What were some of the concerns before coming? Could we find an honest, capable partner doctor? Would we be able to have a social worker who could assess patients well and could we work in the hospital with which we wanted to partner? Would our other partners (see below) be able to provide the support for the work?
All of the operations went well and our program is on its way. I am struck by the professionalism and skill of the Paraguayan medical professionals. One big difference here is that Solidarity Bridge is working in an inter-institutional partnership made up of Catholic Charities of Asuncion, a government agency called DIBEN (Beneficence and Social Aid Directorate) and the major teaching public hospital, called the Hospital de Clinicas. Also working closely with us are individuals of a lay Catholic movement. For now, all goes very well. Another update on Wednesday.