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Second Day of Surgery- 4th Day

Today is our fourth day at the Angkor Hospital for Children.  The sky is overcast threatening rain as the Plasticos team walk to the Hospital already at 7:30 AM, the heat and humidity are stifling as we enter a side door into a hallway, past the surgical ward to the OT (operating theater).  An 8-month-old baby is asleep next to his sleeping mother.  Their bed, without sheets, is in the hallway.  He stirs in his sleep, pulling at the tube through his nose.  He has pneumonia but is doing well.  Look back from the OT door and to the hallways right and left are beds occupied by children overflowing the wards, and now overflowing the hallway.  It is the raining season – therefore, dengue fever time.

The fourth day, now 11 AM.  Samuth, a 3 year old has been in the operating room now for one hour, 2-3 hours left to go.  Plasticos and the Cambodian surgeons are working to reconstruct her hand.  Her brown eyes, while awaiting surgery, seemed very sad.   Looking at the extensive burn of her left hand and arm, we wonder if she was as hopeful for a good result as all here.  Only time will tell.

Paul Quintana, MD

Samuth

X-Ray of Samuth's hand

Dr. Nichter performing surgery with Cambodian doctors.

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