Haiti: Day 5

Our doctors spent their last day at Hospital Bienfaisance de Pignon seeing patients and listening to Dr. Fiona Lindo’s lecture to the local doctors on pelvic organ prolapse, a condition so personal and unspeakable that women, no matter what country they live in, go years without treatment, Dr. Tristi Muir says. Even in the U.S., where specialized health care is more accessible, many women suffer because they are embarrassed. 

 

During today’s surgery, the last of the week, our doctors performed a hysterectomy and repaired the vagina of a 50-year-old woman with prolapse so severe her organs almost bulged beyond the opening of her vagina. She had lived with the condition many years, and probably would have continued to do so for many more. 

 

Before leaving the hospital for the last time, the team gave Houston Methodist and Houston-themed shirts as gifts to the three local doctors with whom they worked. 

 

Our doctors quickly made friends and became celebrities during their short stay in Pignon, a town of roughly 30,000 people. Every day, two or three residents, as well as local vendors selling bags, baskets, necklaces and carvings, waited outside their compound and joined them along the 10-minute walk to the hospital. Some even met them on the way back. In English, they asked, ‘What is your name?’ and ‘How are you?’”

 

And they remembered the names. 

 

Without fear or suspicion, little girls held hands with Dr. Danielle Antosh and Dr. Shweta Pai during walks through town — sweet gestures of innocence and trust. Despite the unrelenting heat and humidity, people here make a point of dressing nicely — men in pants and long-sleeved shirts and women in skirts and tops — because it is the proper thing to do. 

 

Tonight, our doctors shopped and strolled through the streets, taking in the sights and mingling with the people of Pignon for the last time before packing up and leaving early Friday morning.  

 

Daily Schedule  

Besides offering surgeries to women, our mission includes educating local surgeons on performing these life-changing procedures, so they can continue this work after we leave. 

 

Today’s Schedule  

  • A morning lecture — topic: pelvic organ prolapse 
  • Preoperation visits with patients 
  • Surgery 

 

Lecture Topic: Pelvic Organ Prolapse  

A woman’s pelvic organs, including the uterus, bladder and rectum, can slip and create a bulge in the vagina after the muscles, tissues and ligaments supporting those organs weaken. 

Causes include: 

  • Childbirth 
  • Hysterectomy 
  • Menopause 
  • Heavy lifting
  • Chronic coughing
  • Constipation
  • Obesity
  • Previous pelvic surgery
  • Neurological conditions or injuries
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injuries 

 

Day Five Photo Highlights

day 5 group

Dr. Fiona Lindo, Dr. Danielle Antosh, Dr. Tristi Muir and Dr. Shweta Pai with the three local doctors with whom they worked this week at Hospital Bienfaisance de Pignon.

 

day 5 motorcycle

A slice of life during a stroll through Pignon.

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