SANTIAGO, D.R. — There’s nothing quite like witnessing an open heart surgery.

Seeing a human heart beating and a pair of lungs expanding and contracting is absolutely incredible.

You can also view photos from Pricile’s surgery. Keep in mind that many photos may be considered disturbing by some due to the nature of surgery.

I don’t have a whole lot of inspirational thoughts to share today because we’ve been going full-speed for a few days. In lieu of words, today I’ll just share some photos and a few updates.

Isenadaire was the last to arrive of the four kids we we able to take to Santiago so far. He's older than the others. His health problems are noticeable when he has to walk a lot, especially up and down stairs when he gets very fatigued.

We are approaching the border of Haiti and the DR. The road you see ahead is often flooded by the lake. The lake has been rising for quite some time and no one knows why, so the road is continuously built up higher to keep Haiti connected to the border. Without doing so, this large border crossing would not be accessible at all.

John Hanley, a Chadasha missionary living at the Jimani campus in the DR, poses with a Dominican pastor at the border. Without John's help at the border, we may not have been able to get the kids to Santiago for their life-saving heart surgeries.

Chadasha Executive Director Chris Keylon poses with (left to right) Isenadaire, Zaikel, Pricile and Naika in front of the children's hospital in Santiago, DR.

Zaikel is getting some basic examinations upon arrival at the children's hospital. All the kids have to have these exams so the doctors can determine that the diagnosis is correct and schedule them for surgery.

Dr. Rolf Bennhagen, a Pediatric Cardiology Consultant from Sweden, performs a heart echo on Isenadaire in preparation for his operation. All the children have to go through this procedure as well.

Pricile gets the same echo exam.

A lot of our time is spend waiting in the hospital...just like any other!

Isenadaire rides in the back of the truck to the hospital on Thursday, Nov. 10 to get a dental examination. The dentists in the hospital had to delay his exam for two days because they did not have running water, so Chadasha found a private dentist in the area to get his exam and teeth cleaning on Friday, Nov. 11.

Naika wasn't herself on Thursday. Normally, she's very active and playful, but she was tired all morning and eventually was very upset at some chest pains and heartbeat irregularity. The doctors gave her some acetaminophen to help with the pain. By the end of the day she was back to normal!

Pricile was the first of our kids to have an operation. Here she is extremely happy and playful while waiting about an hour before her operation.

Pricile is dressed for her transfer to the operating room now. She's just waiting for the doctors to come get her.

Medical student Jeff holds Pricile before they take her back to the OR. Jeff is Haitian and has helped translate and make things run smoothly the entire stay here in Santiago. He's been assigned to help our kids and upon graduating he wants to return to Haiti to be a heart or brain surgeon.

Pricile's been taken back to the OR. Her chart is displayed on the bed they used before taking her.

Chris is allowed to view some of the open-heart operation on Pricile.

We were all amazed at how methodical and fast paced many portions of the operation were. The relationship between the surgeon, Dr. Soto and the head surgical nurse, Erin Brenner, was like watching a fast paced symphony with all the passing of instruments and actual operating.

The operating room is a very hectic environment, with so many moving parts and people. Everyone worked together so well...just like a well oiled machine.

Dr. Rodrigo Soto was our chief surgeon for Pricile's operation and he should be performing all the kids' surgeries when they are scheduled. Most of them should happen next week.

Zaikel had his extensive testing done on Thursday morning (Nov. 10). Here, he's waiting in the ICU at the children's hospital for surgery. His operation was supposed to be scheduled for Friday, but the doctors want to do some more exams Friday afternoon so he will most likely get his surgery next week.

Isenadaire and his older brother Guerson were really patient all day. They had planned to get Isenadaire's dental exam, but since it was delayed, they simply waited for the other kids all day. Both are great guys.

Photo Slideshow from the entire trip, starting with the most recent images:

2 replies
  1. kristine
    kristine says:

    what an amazing pictorial journal. God bless you, He is going to use this tool and your skills in a great way.
    See you soon.

  2. Anne Peters
    Anne Peters says:

    Wonderful pictures Ben! You have a terrific eye for composure and a feel for how to capture the emotion of the situation for us all. Thank you for sharing you gift.


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