Welcome to Cambodia

Woohoo! Team OHI is in the house…well Cambodia.

Stepping off the cool quarters of the plane we were instantly swallowed up by the heat and smells of that which makes up this beautiful country - Cambodia! Tuk Tuks, markets, food stalls of all arrangements and chaotic traffic are plenty in numbers and supply. Yet nothing quite says welcome to Cambodia like scorpion fried rice and tarantula kebabs! 

Monday morning and the 28 Open Heart International (OHI) volunteers have all acclimatised (as much as possible) caught up on lost sleep in transit and are ready to start work!

While half the team start the pre-op screening and talking with the children’s parents. The other half of us put together some goodie bags filled with toys, clothes, hygiene products. Basically everything that a sick child could have hoped for! I think its safe to say Santa Claus would have been pretty impressed with our goodie bags. 



Inside the Operating theatre

Happy Thursday readers!

The city seems to come alive with more hustle and bustle with each day, and the team like to follow in suit, as we are well in full swing of operations, intensive care/recovery, post-op physio and arts and crafts.

The children aren't the only ones who will need a heart surgery, because my heart just melted after watching kids come out of an intensive surgery/ recovery and be reunited with their anxious waiting parents. It really is a beautiful moment of reconciliation that brings me to water works each time.

Today I had the privilege of heading in to the operating theatre, at first glance it looks like a mad scientists lab, and on closer inspection it really does look like a mad scientist lab.

Let me "try" and paint this picture for you; tubes and machines are plentiful, (at one point I counted 12 tubes coming from the heart alone) surgeons and many doctors all playing their vital role whether with the patient or monitoring a machine, all whilst machines beep in an unmusical dissonant tune. In short it is a truly wonderful collaboration to save a life.

The usual walk-through the hospital grounds is a reminder of a special little side-project we were involved earlier this year.  Last March, Andrew and Doug did a fabulous job paving the walkway area and now it is surrounded by grass and fencing which is a dramatic improvement and benefit for all staff, patients and us! Thanks once again Doug and Andrew (left photo is before and right photo is now).