October – Ghana: Children’s Lifeline/ Boston Children’s Hospital
Annually, Children’s Lifeline funds medical missions to Ghana. Dr. Francis Fynn-Thompson of Boston Children’s Hospital has led the cardiac mission since 2007. The host hospital is Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital located in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. The overall mission is composed of three teams: surgical, clinical and intensive care. Over the past five years, 88 children have received heart surgery and hundreds of lives have been changed. This year, 100 children were evaluated and 16 received cardiac surgery; the patients ranged in age from 2 months to 22 years. Before the team departed for the US, they decorated a room with streamers and balloons for a good-bye party. The young patients formed a procession into the room as if they were on the red carpet – all dressed in their best. Final pictures were taken so all could see their progress with only a few days of care. The children were greeted by Dr. Fynn-Thompson and the team. Each child was given a gift. Jethro received a purple soccer ball. Spontaneous singing erupted and everyone danced. Tears flowed and hugs were abundant.