Posted on 21 November, 2013

Dealing with twelve bags, 80kgs, of excess baggage through three airports and negotiating no charge for excess is only one skill displayed by the OHI team in the first few days. Add in the potential complexity of taking heart valves as hand luggage (which isn’t enough for case manager and cardiac anaesthetist Dr. Darren Wolfers who once carried them with wearing a tiara and sunglasses for added challenge.) The team entertain themselves in a variety of ways.

at the hospital Richard, Russell and Darren working hard

During the 36 hours of travel time project co-ordinator Russell Lee spent every free moment, and every free wifi point, on the phone or the computer dealing with the sort of issues only a program like this can encounter; flights being cancelled, family situations, and visa challenges. Posting social media call outs and trying to recruit intensive care nurses, who could hop on a plane in 24 hours, via text message while sitting on the tarmac on the way to Kigali could not have illustrated the situation better.

Once we arrived we headed to King Faisal Hospital to catch up with cardiologist Dr. Andrew Bullock and ward nurse in charge Beth Chidlow who had arrived earlier to conduct screening, along with old friends Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi and Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza from the paediatric cardiac care unit.

Everyone in the hospital is so welcoming, happy to see those returning from previous trips and happy to see new team members. Then the unpacking began…

Catching Up

Tags:  East Africa,