September – Peru: Children’s Lifeline / CardioStart
This year, Children’s Lifeline partnered with CardoStart and Dr. Aubyn Marath for another mission to Peru. The 2012 volunteer medical team included members from four countries and 8 different US states. The team returned to Honorio Delgado Regional Hospital in Arequipa to further develop a cardiac surgical program. The hospital is equipped with only three ICU beds and two ORs. The mission also had the active participation of the Hospital del Nino from Lima, whose surgeon Eneida Melgar and a nursing team joined the mission. After intense pediatric cardiological evaluations by two echo-trained cardiologists and the surgical team, 10 children were chosen, out of approximately 100 screened, for surgery. All of the children recovered satisfactorily. The mission also included an educational aspect. Daily didactic and practical bedside training of the Peruvian ICU nursing staff was conducted. Lectures including basic life support skills were also presented. Additionally, four days were spent at a local daycare center, which cares for the poorest of the poor children in Arequipa. They have more than 120 children in their care. The team dispensed 22,000 vitamins fortified with iron to the under-nourished children, enough for a 6 month supply for each child. The team also provided primary medical care to 206 children. By all measures, the Peru mission exemplifies Lifeline’s goals of healing and teaching.