Posted on 14 June, 2017

Open Heart International (OHI) loves the friendly Fijian atmosphere. As the project coordinator for this trip, the heart stopping moments are when the team assembles in one place, meets each other and starts the task of unpacking all the freight into a workable cardiac operating theatre, ICU and ward.


Sunday morning started out like every other ‘normal’ OHI Fiji day 1 would: Team meeting out of the way and up to the hospital. Patients, local staff and OHI team ready with anticipation of the first surgery.


The facilities have once again been improved since our last visit and the CWMH staff have prepared all the areas that we will work in together. Boxes are unpacked in the correct locations and equipment tested to make sure we are all ready to start our two consecutive theatres.


It wouldn’t be OHI without some sort of challenge – one challenge being that one of the heater coolers is not functioning as needed. Everyone gave it a go, just as well surgeons and anaesthetists love fixing things.


One theatre started while the others tried everything you could think of to fix the offending piece of equipment. After about 6 hours of taping, turning trying (crying) we decided that nothing was going to get it working today. Despite the hiccup, three patients successfully were operated on Sunday and Monday was going to be a new day.

Dr Markou declared he was going to Fijis Bunning’s first thing Monday morning and set off determined that the heater cooler was his to master. After the necessary purchases he was back and the heater cooler was conquered. Nothing is going to stop this teams performance!

7 more surgeries were completed on Monday.


At the close of theatres on Tuesday, day three of surgeries. 17 patients have received life changing surgery.

All I can say is what an amazing group of professionals we have working together.


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