Monday, March 3, 2014

Pope Stars

Instead of posting two blogs today, we decided to condense it into a lengthier one. Consequently we decided to post several pictures to maintain your attention. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 
Our team woke up today with unbelievable confidence and vigor. Juan Pablo II was going to test our training and preparations to their furthest limits. The hospital was located about 30 minutes away from our hotel, so we packed Israel’s van to the brim and set out at 7:45 am sharp. JPII is a pediatric hospital that offers nearly all types of care, with specialists ranging from physical therapists to orthodontists. But we were not here to remember our awkward middle school braces days. No, We were determined to fix all of the medical equipment in the hospital.
Some team members fighting to keep a patient monitor alive.
Ally seems to be reciting the Gettysburg address at this moment.
After a quick tour of the facility with Delia (during which, our group discovered that it was the lair for the "pope mobile") we were shepherded into a small conference room. We barely had time to breathe before the hospital maintenance crew began rolling in the machines. The room slowly began to fill with equipment and before long the atmosphere was saturated with beeps and whizzes. Michael and Jake had the challenging job of fixing two ventilators that had not been in use for almost three years! They worked for the entire day, testing and reading about the devices to come up with a sound report for the staff regarding how to progress with them. But, that’s not all. Casey and Ally repaired and tested ECG machines and verified the function of two patient monitors.
Chris and Mary Kate chatting it up while bringing a monitor back to life
Sometimes the team needs some help from some of the resources Guatemala has to offer.
In this case, Guatemala graced us with the little thumb of a resilient Guatemalan child.
It wouldn’t surprise me to find those in patient rooms tomorrow. Sara and Anna deliberated over an incubator and a child monitor that displayed a heart rate that was giving inconsistent readings. The pair will be back at it tomorrow to try to repair this faulty measurement. Daniel and Miranda were the dream team (albeit self-professed) as they tackled two microscopes, a defibrillator, a patient monitor, and an anesthesia machine (ok, they were pretty great). Needless to say, out of the altercation only two walked out. Both human.
While fixing some microscopes the dream team also
found a cure for cancer and restless leg syndrome.
Now this may come as a surprise to many of you but all of this happened before lunch! Here we ate some delicious grilled chicken with rice. Lunch also had salad, which five of our bravest team members ate, Ally being the foremost. After lunch we worked on the machines some more and talked at length with the hospital maintenance workers. They were informed of the new machines that they could now install in operating rooms and patient rooms and they were provided with detailed instructions on how to utilize them.

Nate verifying the status of a temperature sensor.
We soon realized he was doing all of this in his sleep.
After some hours our group drove off to the exotic land of Walmart (Hakuna Matata). Here Dr. P managed to find some of the rarest counterparts to Oreo cookies that Guatemala has to offer. Next we went to another equally foreign location: a restaurant called Patsy’s. Here our team ordered everything from bacon burgers to margarita pies. Our strength replenished and our bo
dies well-nourished we returned to the hotel to hear some of our team members present their research. The reason? Well tomorrow, Casey, Nate, and Orlando will be presenting in front of Universidad del Valle’s electrical engineering student body. Our team will also be able to hear some of the Guatemalan students’ innovative electrical research before traveling back to Juan Pablo II Hospital for a second round of equipment restoration. Somebody give me a second shot of caffeine please!
More updates to come!

Dr. Walker resting after a long work day
whilst immersing himself into the cult of "flappy bird".

team bonding
Looks like being a pope means riding in style
With air conditioning!
Jake verifying the O2 connection to the ventilator.

"Jake and Daniel in repose"
location: walmart
Some memorables:

  •  Mary Kate put the team on her back by assessing the working power of an incubator and even provided it with more than two years’ worth of air filters.
  •  Sara, Chris, and Nate took to the streets with the help of Josh, our local translator, in search of some power cables and other machine parts.
  • Dr. Walker actually does voice overs in many commercials to the surprise of nobody in the group.

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