Posted on 14 September, 2017

8 adult surgeries and 14 child surgeries and it is a wrap. As the two weeks in Tonga comes to an end, the OHI team turn their focus towards preparing the patients for their return home with new healthy hearts while packing and meticulously counting the truck loads of medical supplies ready for the trip back to Australia. Under the watchful eye of OHI’s Megan Kraa, the team will count each item to leave the ICU and wards clean and tidy for handover back to the local teams.

The logistics for our next Tongan trip starts when we leave and then ramps up six months prior to the teams arrival. While after the project is finished, the pack down will continue back in Sydney for another four weeks after everyone returns home in preparation for the next trip to Philippines.


The last two weeks have been a resounding success not just in the surgeries but with the care on the wards, with the education of the nursing staff and the relationships built with the local communities. Every member of the team has over achieved in the eating department as our bellies have been well fed around the clock. We will all miss the indulgent spread of food we shared with the local team each day.


The team has been working closely with the local hospital staff sharing skills and exchanging lots of laughs. All you need to do is take a look at the photos posted on social media and in the OHI blog to see that the trip has been full of fun and laughter … oh and hard work.


Our final surgery today was with Kristy a young 13-month-old boy who underwent a PDA and was as cute as can be. This surgery was Dr Baines’ last patient with the OHI and was recognised with grateful and tearful applause by the hospital and OHI team. Dr Baines will be sorely missed.

As with past trips to Tonga, this trip will be remembered fondly by those that have been here before and will be the start of more trips for those who have been welcomed into the Tongan community.

Tags:  Tonga,