Posted on 17 November, 2014

Going into theatres was an experience like no other. I felt like a fly on the wall, trying not to get in anyones way, just sitting back and watching everyone work in unison. How it all comes together and looks so smooth I probably will never be able to comprehend.


The volunteers were amazing and friendly; for some reason I thought the tension would be high and everyone would somewhat have tunnel vision. But they all explained to me the procedures and how their jobs influence the overall outcome and they were enjoying themselves… and now I think about it, it was silly of me to think any different.


To my surprise I didn’t feel dizzy or faint at all. I think I was too amazed that I didn’t have time to think about feeling sick. For those that know me really well, it takes a lot to get me speechless but I think I said about 15 words in the whole surgery because I was just completely astounded by the little heart less than 30cm away from me. Dr Andrews was brilliant, he was showing me around the heart and showing me what wasn’t normal and how it should look. I have had a VSD explained to me before but seeing it firsthand somehow ties it all together and now makes so much more sense. The theatre staff are incredible, starting at 7am going to past 9pm- their dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.

surgerySometimes when you open up the chest things aren’t always as predicted, as we were to discover last night. If it was me in that circumstance I would have been spinning out of control, but the team remained cool, calm and collected (maybe not in their eyes but definitely in mine). A tiny PDA and an extra blood vessel made opearating far more complex than expected. Being at the head of the table for the surgery I felt like at times I was getting in the way, but I was assured I wasn’t and they just worked around me.

I feel absolutely privileged to be able to say I not only saw a little heart be fixed, but I got to see how these amazing volunteers change lives day in and day out, not only in Africa but in Australia too. I take my hat off to everyone who volunteers to this cause. From as soon as that kid walks in the door, until they leave the ward, you all play a massive role.

Felix is doing extremely well and we expect to get him off life support shortly. He opened his eyes when I saw him this morning and waved his hand at me like usual, so that’s a good sign for me.

Tags:  East Africa,