The Way Becomes Clear
Written by Lindsay Doucette
Despite months of preparations before our arrival, we begin every mission trip by stepping into the unknown. With each new encounter, each new surgery, and each new endeavor in Bolivia, we embrace the uncertainties, look for guidance, and offer our gifts as we find our way forward.
After a week of meetings and dialogue with medical staff at the Santa Bárbara Hospital in Sucre, it became clear to all involved that this was the right place for a long-term partnership to advance neurosurgical care.
The skilled and committed Santa Bárbara nurses and physicians serve an incredible volume of patients in spite of significant resource limitations. The scope of the need is great. Solidarity Bridge can play an important role in helping this level-three trauma center access supplies and equipment to improve and advance surgical care for thousands of neurosurgical patients.
Dr. Richard Moser spent the week in the operating room with Bolivian neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, and ENTs providing instruction in endoscopic surgery for the removal of pituitary tumors. He also demonstrated the use of an operating microscope in a transcranial tumor surgery.
Concurrent with the mission surgeries, Solidarity Bridge founder, Juan Lorenzo Hinojosa, Senior Director of Programs, Lindsay Doucette, and Emory University global surgery fellow, Dr. Erica Ludi, met with various hospital departments, including anesthesia, nursing, surgery, radiology, pathology, intensive care, emergency care, pharmaceutics, statistics, and telemedicine. Through these meetings, the team sketched a comprehensive picture of the hospital’s current capacity and of its most pressing training and equipping needs.
As the mission drew to a close, the Solidarity Bridge/Puente de Solidaridad mission team gathered to share their impressions of the week. All expressed a mixture of excitement at the possibilities for partnership and consideration of the significant challenges that lie ahead. Through their reflections, the seasoned team of missioners demonstrated a common optimism. While we find ourselves at the beginning of a new endeavor, with many questions and unknowns, mission calls us to step out in faith, trusting that, gradually, the way will become clear.