Thursday, April 10, 2008

From Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, of BWH and co-founder of Partners In Health

Paul Farmer surprised Team Heart with a visit to King Faisal Hospital this week. Above, he and Ceeya Patton-Bolman greet Alice, who underwent mitral valve replacement the day before. Read his first ever blog entry below.

“Blog” from the mountains of Northern Rwanda
It was awesome—not a word I use lightly—to stand in the anesthesiologist’s spot (“behind the blood-brain barrier,” they used to say at the Brigham) and to watch Chip Bolman and an ace team from BWH cannulate the aorta of a 26-year-old man about to undergo mitral valve replacement (Prem Shekar has already done a big case that morning, so this was the second one of the day).

I’d had the good fortune to transport Jean-Claude Muhozi from rural southern Rwanda, where he lives in a refugee camp, to King Faisal Hospital, where Team Heart is repairing the valves and lives of many young Rwandans this week. It was awesome medically, as it always is when the pericardium is opened; it was awesome personally, as someone who has fought alongside many others to make sure that quality medical care be made available to the poorest; and it was awesome spiritually to see, on the exact anniversary of the 1994 genocide, that the power to heal continues to trump the power to maim, sicken, or kill.

Who knows what Jean-Claude, who lives in a tattered refugee camp with his brothers, has gone through even prior to falling ill with valvular heart disease that has made him cough and gasp for breath for years? Read Dr. Farmer's complete entry.


Anonymous said...

We're really proud of all of you in Rwanda- it's amazing work you're doing!
-Meredith, PA
p.s. don't forget to bring shopnick back.

Anonymous said...

To Jen from all your evening OR peeps:
-Atta girl, Jen. Can't wait to hear all the details...Your willingness to serve (both the U.S. and Rwanda) are extraordinary. Proud to know you. Marsha
-People are still throwing money at me! Keep up the good work. Sheila
-People are throwing money at me as well. Hope it is all good for you. Now you are the new private scrub!! Paul
-Hope everything is going well and that you're having a great time. See you when you get back. Felicia
-Hey Jenn, Hope all is well. Can't wait to hear all about it. Hope you're keeping up with Perez. Courtney
-We miss you and are very proud of you. Toni
-Hi Jenn, Hope all is well. Can't wait to hear about your adventures when you return to BWH. Robin
-Hey Jen, Hope you're staying out of trouble. See you soon. Chris
-Jen, Good to see you guys are making a difference in these people's lives. Good job. Brian
Warm regards to Katie, too.

Anonymous said...

Hey B,
How's the peanut butter holding up?? Miss you, looking forward to post tae-bo coffee to chat about your adventure! Everything is fine here. It was 70 degrees :)yesterday!! back to 5o today :(
Haley has been home sick for 2 days, Mike just walked in the door not feeling well too!!! uh oh! Anyway, keep up the good work, we want to see some Respiratory therapy pics!! XOXO Gina