We are in negotiations with the city to develop a tissue bank. That would allow us, and others, to have pediatric heart valves available in general and especially for emergencies. Why does this matter? For girls, with a human valve she will be able to have children; with an artificial valve, not possible because of the drugs needed to prevent rejection.
Just saw the new anatomy textbook produced by the local medical society, containing a chapter on congenital heart operations by our chief surgeon. Russia once was a world leader in cardiology, then fell when the money stopped. They lost a generation of momentum. We're trying to keep it from being yet another generation before they get back on their feet scientifically.
Have been here 29 times so much is familiar. But this time couldn't stay in my regular hotel, and this one is nice but unfamiliar. I'm such a baby! Oh wait, that's the patients.
Tomorrow we operate to correct a previous surgery done by another institution, that will remain nameless to protect the guilty.
And speaking of guilty, there is going to be an investigation of why certain materials are not reaching the hospital. Three guesses. Ooops, you only needed one? Very good.
I'm not talking here about the things that were wrecked somewhere between the airplane and the other side of customs, which made me almost quit for real this time, but the broader issue involving more people. To which I say,
I can't quit. I think about quitting every couple of months. This work would not be so easy for a normal person and I am mentally ill. But I realize I can't quit. Who would fill my shoes? And why would I want anyone else in my shoes :)
Gradually the government is taking up the reins, and reining in those who need it, and beginning to accept responsibility for saving the lives of their own newborns. Yay for that. In the meantime I will do what I can to keep these little ones alive.
My brother died at age 3 hours, and the tsunami of grief created then still haunted the family a year later when I was born. His loss has always been part of my story. Fair or not, that is how I'm wired. Might as well take advantage of that, and try to help others.
On the way to having my three angelic children I had 8 miscarriages. So I know a little bit about loss.
What's on my other hemisphere? Babies who live.