Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The patients are awarded a precious treatment card, their ticket to surgery. On screening day I helped with the taking the histories, the last station before patients went to see the Dr's and recieve their card. In all 117 reconstructive procedure candidates were added to the surgical calander during the event. A further 60 patients were selected to see the ship's orthopeadic surgeons later in the year.

The screening was conducted at Tubman Stadium in the heart of Monrovia. There was estimated approximately 1000 people atteneded with 253 taken into the stadium. Dr. Gary Parker stated "This is our third year in the Monrovia area, so we may have treated the needest people in our first couple of visits. That would be encouraging to think that we'd actually made a dent such that we are not seeing today the number of cases we normally see."
Security was tight for the first mass screening held by Mercy Ships in Liberia on May 3, 2007. This was the first time the Liberian Government an the United Nations have considered the security situation stable eneogh to allow large public gathering to be held.

Twelve year old Sarah was the last patient to recieve a reonstructive surgery. Sarah comes from the remote southeastern corner of Liberia where her family farms rice and sugar cane. When Sarah was born with a cleft lip the family tried to find help but the Liberian civil war intervened. Doctors and nurses fled the region as the fighting grew worse. However than a second opprotunity presented itself in the form of Mercy Ships.

Seven re-constructive surgeries were completed in the last day of operations on the Anastasis. Three cleft lips were repaired and four tumor/cyst operations.

The last surgeries aboard the Anatasis took place May 2, 2007. Twenty-seven operations. The ophthalmic team conducting 20 eye operations.