November – Ecuador: Children’s Lifeline / Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital
The thirteenth mission from Penn State Children’s Hospital to Guayaquil Ecuador provided evaluations and treatment for children born with heart defects and was led by Dr. John Meyers for the first group and Dr. J. Brian Clark for the second group. A two team approach emphasizes the developing partnership with Hospital de Ninos. The teams were also able to train Ecuadorian cardiologists on their newly acquired echocardiography machines. In all, the teams evaluated ninety surgical candidates and performed over one hundred echocardiograms and twenty in-patient consultations. This year, twenty-seven children, ranging in age from one month to sixteen years old were able to receive open heart surgery. As they did last year, nurses from the Ecuadorian team were assigned patients and were at their bedside learning post-op care and were instrumental in facilitating recovery. This
year, the mission was also able to offer eight clinical days. The teaching offered by the cardiology team from Hershey Medical Center enhanced the local doctors’ understanding of surgical selection and pre-operative management of the children. Heal and teach, that is the recurring motto of Lifeline.