Team NY’s trip to Tanzania was a gratifying one. The team was able to restore hand function to a 6 year old kid who’s thumb was stuck to his hand from the improper bandaging he received after a snake bit him. He and his family travelled over 2000 kilometers to have this surgery done. It was a gratifying experience for our hand surgeon, Steven Einsenstadt, whose only comment after the long operation “you can’t put a price on the use of a child’s hand.”
The team also created a hospital support group led by Dana Alamia and Alexandra Allam called the “compassion group”. This group supports orphans in the neighboring areas. The team provided them with clothes, shoes, soap, toothbrushes, and other necessary supplies.
To encourage education the team provided all students in the area with custom-made uniforms and shoes. Now the kids are able to travel to school comfortably, with proper clothing and shoes.
One of the most gratifying experiences was saving the life of a 2 day year old baby. This baby was brought to them with “2-heads”. There was a huge mass attached to its head, causing the baby to loose an extreme amount of fluid each day. The surgery was long, hard, and complicated, but it was a success. Just 3 days after the surgery, the baby was nursing.
While this mission was gratifying, it was very difficult as well. Due to limited time and resources, the team had to turn away many cases. The people want the team to stay or come back soon after so that they can help all of the people in need, but organizing and executing a mission takes a lot of equipment, funds, volunteers, time, and organization and there is a whole world filled with desperate communities. The team will try and come back to help this community in the future.
After working 12-14 hour shifts for weeks, everyone is tired, but grateful for the experience and the help that they were able to give.