There’s a New Fellow in Town

Earlier this year, Heidi received news that she had been accepted as an International Fellow with the American College of Surgeons. It’s certainly cool that she now gets to slap the FACS acronym after her name. But it’s more than just a title.

“The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name mean that the surgeon’s education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.”

It is especially important because it means that Heidi now has the opportunity to supervise surgeons-in-training here at our hospital in northern Ghana. Our prayer is that this will open the door to more volunteer surgeons coming to work with Heidi.

Making things even better is that some of Heidi’s friends and former Macon surgery residents made it possible for her to attend the ACS conference in Boston to get officially inducted. She was so happy to get 10 days off and a chance to reunite with her friends

And to top it all, she also flew down to Florida and visited her family for a few days!

Pyloric Stenosis

A 10 week old baby girl was admitted to the hospital for vomiting, dehydration and failure to thrive. She was still only 3.5 Kg (about 7lb, 11 oz)! From the history given by the mother, there were no problems with the birth. About one week later, however, the baby started to vomit. She would nurse well, then vomit and want to nurse again. She had been admitted to another district hospital for 2 weeks, but saw no improvement, so she was brought to BMC.

We resuscitated her by giving her fluids intravenously and monitoring her ability to make urine.

On exam, her abdomen was soft, not severely distended and no masses were felt. We followed up the exam with an ultrasound. I found that her muscle around the pylorus (the special channel between the stomach and the first part of the small intestines) was much larger than it should be. The pathway between the two organs was limited to a trickle.

The condition is called Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis. It is usually found by week 4-6 after birth, but sometimes, diagnosis is delayed around here.  The problem arises when the pyloric muscle grows very thick and essentially blocks the pyloric channel, thereby causing the baby to vomit – even projectile vomiting.

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Gwollu Slave Defense Wall

In a small community near the Ghana-Burkina Faso border stands one of the only two remaining slave defense walls in Ghana. This historical monument in the Ghana’s town of Gwollu is a reminder of the dark history and dangers of the slave trade in the remote northern “hinterlands.” Read More

Drilling Bone for Granulation Tissue

A boy was bit by a snake on the shin and the bite developed into a large abscess with significant loss of tissue. As the healing began, about 75% of the anterior tibia was exposed. The infection was now gone, but now the problem was healing an exposed bone.

As wounds heal, granulation tissue covers the wound. Colloquially, it is called “proud flesh.”

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What Your Photos Say About Mission

Taking your camera on that mission trip? Read some thoughts I have about respectful and ethical photography while on mission.

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Pugura ku zɔ saa – zɔ saa ka di bɔ?

One caring for a field won’t fear rain: fear rain and eat what?

Mampruli Proverb

KJ – Our Little Language Learning Helper