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Thursday, February 18, 2010

We have been SO busy its crazy. We average 25 cases a day and we have really only 2 fully functioning ORs. Its a lot to handle. But I did make time tonight to go to the pediatric ward with my roommate Denise who is one of the few people who has been here as long as I have. She is absolutely incredible. At age 12 she was diagnosed with bone cancer and given a 10% chance of survival. At age 19 she had her leg amputated above the knee. She does not want her real age disclosed although she looks like she's 25. But now she is happily married with 3 kids. She is such an inspiration to the amputees bc she can show them that they can still lead a normal life. Some of the patients down here cannot fathom the possibility of a prosthetic limb. Its amazing to see the reactions the patients down here have to seeing this girl walk in and show them her prosthetic leg. One of the other volunteers told her that they had never seen the patients happier bc it gave them that much hope that they might be able to lead a normal life. The pictures are the kids in the peds ward. There was one girl with am amputated leg who really connected with Denise who was sobbing when she left. It was heart breaking.

The one that really got me last night and today was a young 23 year old girl transferred from the USS comfort with crush injuries to her left arm and leg. While on the ship, she refused amputation and they did everything they could but her arm and leg were infected and they removed all the nerves and muscles from her arm and explicitly said her hand would never function again. When we rounded last night she refused amputation even though she was told the infection was already damaging her kidneys and she would die. She was very upset but said that she didn't want any amputations bc God told her not to. They brought her over to the pre op area to discuss things with her today and it was too much for me. She's so young and we are telling her that she can either have an arm and leg cut off or she can die. It was so hard bc it was a girl my exact age and it hit way too close to home. I can't imagine how I would feel being told those options at such a young age. She agreed to the amputations and we're supposed to do them tomorrow. I just am realizing how much I take for granted everyday.

That's it for tonight. Thanks to everyone for keeping me in their thoughts and prayers!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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