Team Chicago’s short but impactful time in Ghana has left more than 100 patients with a new lease on life—and at least one young patient with a new name. In just one of many highlights from the trip, the mother of a child who received a successful clef lip/palate repair decided to show her gratitude by baptizing the baby after Dr. Fernando Almas, Team Chicago’s facial reconstructive surgeon.
In total, the team completed 160 surgeries and 219 procedures completed during just six days. Other life-changing surgeries included removing a 16.5-pound mass from a former pastor and repairing the hand of a child born with fused fingers.
Team Chicago made its return trip to Ghana on April 20th, following a successful mission there last year in 2022.
Both missions came at a critical time for Ghana, where the coronavirus crisis exposed huge gaps in the healthcare system. Particularly in the country’s rural areas, dire shortages of medical personnel and a lack of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies have long forced patients to rely on traditional African medicine or travel great distances to access modern healthcare.
"The encounter with Operation International has been something good to the hospital, to Ghana, and most especially to our patients. They have taken a bit of their pain and worries away," said a staff member at Ghana's Holy Family Hospital.