Riley International Heart Missions

Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team Trip 2014 to Uganda Heart Institute- Day #3 Operations Underway!

with 4 comments

We start the day with the usual breakfast, but then an earlier departure to UHI. George, our faithful driver, is at the hotel ready before our requested 7 AM departure. We arrived at UHI, started preparing the OR and ICU. The ICU looks as pristine and ready to go as we have ever seen it! With new cords to match their monitors for EKG,sats, and Blood pressure cuffs all purchased with money from last year’s grant, they are all labeled and ready to go!

The new ICU cables on the monitors

     The new ICU cables on the monitors

All "New 2014"!

All “New 2014″!

Anesthesia was soon out to to take our first patient of the day, Patience, back to the OR. She was in the room with her father Tony and seemed incredibly scared. She does not understand English we are told, so us talking to her certainly did not help. Sheila finally reached out for her and scooped her into her arms to take her back to the OR with Dr. Walker.

Dr. Walker checking out a cold and frightened Patience, with her Dad Tony looking on...

Dr. Walker checking out a cold and frightened Patience, with her Dad Tony looking on…

Sheila taking Patience back to OR with Becca's help

Sheila taking Patience back to OR with Becca’s help

It should be noted with GREAT emphasis that the UHI team was all here and ready to go when we arrived near 7:30. The scrub nurses Ben and John, Dr. Joseph, the anesthesiologist, Moses (the Anesthesia assistant), and Murra of perfusion were in the OR and ready to go. Looking back to our first years, this is a really important improvement! With these efficiencies, the surgery was officially underway just after 9AM. What an accomplishment!

Dr.Turrentine looking on in surgery

Dr.Turrentine looking on in surgery

New equipment is utilized in this case from grant money as well… A new vaporizer is on the heart lung bypass machine (AKA the “pump”) which allows for delivery of anesthesia directly through the pump. This is a much more efficient and useful method of delivery on bypass. Rotary money again at work here!



Patience has an ASD and was repaired completely by the UHI team. Dr. Turrentine never even scrubbed in! He discussed with Dr. Mwambu and Dr. Oketcho certain aspects and gave pointers at critical points,, but the UHI team completed Patince’s operation completely as a team. With Murra on the bypass machine, Dr. Joseph at anesthesia, John as scrub nurse (Chass never scrubbed either), and Ben circulating, UHI had this covered. What an exciting sight for our fifth return trip!

The Perfusionist team for UHI

The Perfusionist team for UHI

Riley/Rotary Team looking on only to Mentor!

Riley/Rotary Team looking on only to Mentor!

Rob, our friend and Executive Director from Gift of Life International, arrived this morning from the most recent mission to Manila. Informal discussions and meetings ensued (because Rob’s presence creates meetings! :). We have found that there is no pediatric TEE probe, so anyone under 17kg cannot have a intra operative echo. This could create quite a conundrum and may change the schedule or the possibility of operating on 6 of the planned patients! Rob quickly called Chain of Hope in London and is still working on the specific arrangements for arrival of a proper probe ASAP.

Rob (Executive Director of Gift of Life International), Grace (GOL Uganda, Rotarian and 1st ever GOL patient) and I discussing the probe and other issues...

Rob (Executive Director of Gift of Life International), Grace (GOL Uganda, Rotarian and 1st ever GOL patient) and I discussing the probe and other issues…

In the meantime, Patience was transferred to the ICU with the new Lifepack monitor system purchased from grant monies from the 2013 grant. What a great addition to be able to fully monitor the patient during transfer. Previously, the patient came off monitor in the OR and was restarted once in the ICU. A lot can happen in approximately 30 yards, so this is a fantastic equipment addition!

New transport monitor (Lifepack)

New transport monitor (Lifepack)

In the ICU setting up Patience

In the ICU setting up Patience

Our longtime ICU nurse friend Anna is one of several prepared nurses who took back Patience with Sheila and Becca. Her parents soon were let in to see her and help comfort her. All goes well with her transition to the ICU.

Brenda was so excited to go back for surgery. She did not seem scared at all! She is a beautiful, glowing, friendly 9 yr old whom everyone instantly loves when they meet her! Dr. Schimmelpfennig checked her over earlier in the morning and was also the one to escort her to surgery….after posing for this fun picture!

A little silliness before her time in the OR!  :)

A little silliness before her time in the OR! :)

Brenda with her Mum Dorothy and Dad John- Beautiful! And PP Sara!

Brenda with her Mum Dorothy and Dad John- Beautiful!

Again, the UHI team cared for her alone until she was cannulated and on bypass. Dr. Turrentine donned his favorite headlight purchased by a District grant from the Rotary Club of Greenfield and joined the team at the operating table. Shockingly, Dr. Turrentine was even found to conform with our new gift for all the team members- the Rotary/Gift of Life hat! :).

(ok, so no picture yet of Dr. T in the hat, he evaded many…but here is our circulating friend Edith in her hat!, She was so excited she giggled and hugged me so tight!)

Ms. Edith!  :)

Ms. Edith! :)

Brenda’s surgery went very well and the team recovered her in the ICU. In the meantime, apparently Dr. Cordes was asked to see with Dr. Lubega a 3 month old baby who is very sick with critical pulmonary stenosis. Plans were made to operate on this child between the two planned cases tomorrow.

One of our friends paying her own way to join us to observe (because it is not covered by the grant if not a working, medical, pre-approved Rotary International part of the team) is Rotary Club of Greenfield’s Immediate Past President Sara Joyner. She and I found our way to the RC of Kampala North’s meeting as well. Just when we were contemplating the straight road to the Hotel Afrikana in a 2 mile walk, Sara noted a man in a suit wearing what she thought was a Rotary pin. Soon after, I found him in the ward with the pre-surgical children and families. He introduced himself as Rotarian Sam from the RC of Kampala North, just 20 minutes before we would need to leave to go to the meeting! Prayers answered! Rotarian Sam was such a wonderful host transporting us to the joint meeting of all the surrounding clubs who meet on Mondays. They have this more informal joint fellowship every 5th Monday. It was a packed room of probably 150-200 Rotarians. WOW! What a vibrant group of Rotarians! Many familiar friends through the years to visit and we scurried out then for the hotel to meet the team.

Driving with Rotarian Sam and PP Sara up front through a "terrible jam"

Driving with Rotarian Sam and PP Sara up front through a “terrible jam”

A proper picture of PP Sara Joyner and Rotarian Sam!  Thank you, Sam!

A proper picture of PP Sara Joyner and Rotarian Sam! Thank you, Sam!

The Presidents and Kampala South Secretary

The Presidents and Kampala South Secretary

It was a Full House!

It was a Full House!

It was fairly late to finish dinner, but overall an early night out of the hospital for the team… I am told Trina and Dr. Mastropietro
arrived in time for a shift change-over about 7:15, call phones were given, and all are ready. Tomorrow we plan 3 cases!

In the meantime, Rob worked diligently to arrange for Emma from Chain of Hope to transport a TEE probe for smaller children to Entebbe via a flight tomorrow morning. What a saint she is to abandon London in a heartbeat to fly to Entebbe for 2 days overall! The alternative unfortunately is to cancel 7 of the now 12 cases planned…not an option for this team, AND thankfully not an option for Emma from Chain of Hope! THANK YOU EMMA AND CHAIN OF HOPE!

Tomorrow will be busy… But we are ready and excited by the progress today!





Written by stephkinnaman

September 29, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team Trip 2014 to Uganda Heart Institute- Day #2 outing with Kampala North Rotarians

leave a comment »

Today was a day for building goodwill and better friendships through Rotary and learning and seeing more of Uganda! We were so privileged that the Kampala North Rotarians planned a day trip to Jinja to see the source of the Nile at Lake Victoria. We traveled 2 hours north to this lush, green city known as the source of the Nile with Nigel, his wife, Charlie, Harriet, and Oskar and his beautiful daughters.
We stopped at an area lined by small shops to walk down the steps to the “White” Nile River. The “Blue” Nile meets up together with these waters later with a more blue tint and apparently more nutrient-rich soil. It is said the water from Lake Victoria takes 3 months to reach the Mediterranean. We took a boat ride to see some native birds on the Nile and into Lake Victoria as well. It is really a beautiful ride!

Walk down to the Nile

Walk down to the Nile

Boat Ride!

Boat Ride!

Some did just a little shopping and we reconvened back at the bus. We were then taken to a gorgeous restaurant on Lake Victoria called the Jinja Sailing Club. We sat outside, enjoying a gorgeous view lakeside with great company! What could be better to start our week and this great collaboration between Rotarians, Rotary Clubs, Rotary. Districts and friends! Now tomorrow, we continue the great collaboration with health professionals at UHI. This is what a Vocational Training Team Global Grant through Rotary International is all about! Thank you Kampala North Rotarians!!


Written by stephkinnaman

September 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team Trip 2014 to Uganda Heart Institute- Day #1 Set-up and Screening

leave a comment »

The team was up and ready to go this morning for the great Golf Course Hotel breakfast! We went to UHI with all 13 trunks and our team in 2 waves of arrivals.


Trina and Sheila setting up the ICU
Dr. Mwambu and Dr. Lwabi were already there and ready to go with the patients. Our team started unpacking all the equipment and supplies purchased and setting up the OR and ICU while Dr. Cordes, Dr. Turrentine, Dr. Mwambu, and Dr. Oketcho discussed the cases for the week and reviewed echos.

Our first patient we met today was almost 4 yr old Priscilla. Her mother Jennifer brought her back to meet us for her echo. Priscilla is from Setta, near Jinja (so likely at least 2 hrs travel time to Kampala). She has a restrictive VSD and mod to large PDA diagnosed 2 yrs ago. She protested loudly when Dr. Cordes turned her on her side for echo, but quickly thereafter was asleep. :)

Our next patient to meet was Princess. She is an adorable 17 month old Down’s Syndrome baby with a large inlet VSD and secundum ASD. She has been evaluated by 2 different mission teams already (Chain of Hope and the Italian team), medications adjusted and reevaluated again. It was decided she will have a diagnostic cath Monday with Dr. Lubega. If she is not operated soon, she may become inoperable. We certainly hope we can help the adorable Princess!


Princess and her mom Scovia
We met the first half of our patients thereafter as well in the ward. I checked out our first two patients for Monday and obtained some more history on the patients and their families as well as check them over briefly. Patience is a 6 yr old girl from Northern Uganda- the war-torn area of Gulu. She is here with apparently her aunt and her father for this long trek to Kampala for her scheduled surgery. She has a large secundum ASD only diagnosed 3 months ago after noting what seemed like recurrent respiratory tract infections.


Barbra was sitting all alone in her ward bed, looking so excited she could burst as we walked her way! She has a huge, beautiful smile that truly lights up the room! Her English is impeccable, although her understanding of our “Hoosier” English is understandably spotty sometimes :). She has a small supracristal VSD with mild AR. She is from Rakai, southwest of Kampala near the Tanzanian border. She was found to have her heart defect at age 5 when she was easily fatigued with activities. Barbra gives all her own history gleefully! Her mother (“Mum”)and father came with her- Dorothy and John. She is the second of four children and her parents are farmers. She has a sister Brenda who is 10, another sister Bonita 6yrs old, and a baby brother Brian. Barbra will be an absolute joy to care for throughout the week!



Other future patients Ukasha and Priscilla seemed to be having a ball together as they were settled in with their mothers in the ward!

Ukasha and Priscilla

Fredrick was so excited to talk to us and have me check him over that although he is not on the short preop check list yet, we HAD to chat, check his heart and snap his picture! :). His adorable mother Molly is right in the wings…

Fredrick and Mom

Once the equipment and supplies were all set in the OR to the team’s satisfaction, we headed back to the hotel for a late lunch/early dinner. We felt so privileged to have some time to exchange some money, grab a few groceries at the mall next door and blog before an early night to bed! We hope to transition to this time zone quickly with this easing-into-it schedule, as Monday through Friday will be very busy! The Kampala North Rotarians have planned a sightseeing day for fellowship with some of them tomorrow to Jinja before buckling down to help these kiddos starting Monday.

Group photo! :)

Written by stephkinnaman

September 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team Trip 2014 to Uganda Heart Institute- Arrival!

with 4 comments

Just wanted to make a quick post that we have arrived safely with 14 travelers, 13 large medical trunks and most of our baggage! We are back to the Uganda Heart Institute with a 12-member surgical and ICU team plus our Rotary Club of Greenfield Past President Sara Joyner and a friend from Greenfield and Riley Echo tech Amy Potter paying their own way to check out the good work being done by the teams at UHI. Sara also wrote the grant and coordinated the trip with Rotarian counterparts from Rotary Club of Kampala North- Oskar, Harriett, and Grace. Things were a little hectic at the airport for departure with all the trunks this year, so we did not get the normal full team departure pic. However, Dr. Cordes captured most of the team together with the banner thanks to Joe and Linda Duffy from RC of Greenfield! Please follow along for an exciting week of training and changing the lives of some beautiful Ugandan children with congenital heart disease! Ummm…I don’t think Dr. T looks real comfortable with the transport of his special trunks in this pic! ;). (The drivers were amazing though, and packed it all down perfectly for safe arrival to our hotel)


Good night! It will be a short 4 hrs before the alarm goes off for our screening day! Looking forward to meeting the kids and seeing our UHI friends!>

Written by stephkinnaman

September 27, 2014 at 12:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Multinational Mini-Mission: March 2014

with one comment

This is a very late entry to update any readers on a Spring mini-mission… The Riley/Rotary Heart Team decided to embark on a pretty ambitious multi-country visit including assignments in 3 countries in 8 days. We planned to operate briefly in Amman, then travel for a short visit full of meetings in Dubai, then to London for a Uganda Strategic Planning Conference with all major mission groups, the Ugandan Minister of Health, and UHI representatives.

Morning in Amman

First up was a return to Amman to operate for 2 full days with Gift of Life meetings and planning sessions with Rotarians. We arrived to an always warm welcome from our GOLA friends Sirene and Lamia. They were so kind as always to assist with clearing our trunks of equipment through customs and taking us to the hotel for a short night’s sleep. Dr. Kal picked us up at the hotel and took us straight to Al Khalidi Hospital the next morning. Two cases were planned for the day with no assistant surgeon scheduled since Dr. Fadi is no longer in Amman. We tried to keep the plans simple since Dr. Turrentine had a Family Practice doc as an assistant! Dr. Kal assisted with intra-operative and preop Echos. Retta was first up for the OR and is a beautiful curly-haired 4 yr old Palestinian girl living in Jordan with an ASD and VSD (hole between the upper and lower chambers of the heart). The extremely efficient Al Khalidi OR staff and anesthesia had Rettta ready Togo upon our arrival and we went straight to work in the OR. Her case went very well although the first assist was sweating bullets the entire time! :). She was transported to the ICU and her large, incredibly thankful family was updated.

Moh’d is another 4 year old beautiful boy from Karuk. This is apparently fairly far or costly to travel to Amman for this family as mom had to sell her earrings in order. To get the family to Al Khalidi for this adorable guy’s life-saving surgery. His case also went well and he was transported to the ICU. We celebrated the successes of our partnerships and the day’s surgeries with traditional Jordanian fare at a local restaurant with. Dr. Kal for a late dinner.


The second and final day of surgery for this very short mini-mission was filled with two more cases and thankfully a skilled surgeon as an assistant to Dr. Turrentine. Dr. Hamdi came to assist during our first case…
Malak is a beautiful 3yr old tiny gal with curly hair and a sweet disposition. We visited with her the night before for screening. She had a low ASD which Dr. Turrentine and Dr. Hamdi “fixed” handily and returned her to the ICU.
Dr. Hamdi and Dr. Turrentine in the OR

Our final case of the day was an adorable little 13 month old named Ali Muhammad. This turned into a more complicated case than the simple Tetralogy of Fallot he was initially thought to have. Dr. Turrentine felt in the end this was more like a double outlet VSD with a small PDA. The VSD proved difficult to patch to avoid the conduction system of the heart. His case again went well and he was transported to the capable Al Khalidi nurses in the ICU.

All the patients were doing well at the time of our departure for the hospital. Retta was not a happy camper on postop day 1, although even GOLA president and Rotarian Sirene tried to appease her.

Retta with Sirene
Ali was beautiful sleeping in his hospital bed so peacufully…his new healthier life stretched before him. Dr. Kal would continue working day and night to watch their postoperative recovery as we skirted off the Dubai the next day.
GOLA friends hosting us for a Farewell Dinner

In-Flight Tracking to Dubai!

Dubai’s visit is a new journey. DGN Mustafa of the Rotary Club of Petra put us in touch with Rotary Club of Dubai Cosmopolitan President Dr. Nabil Mitry. We would not be in town for Dr.Mitry’s club’s meeting, but he helped arrange for our visit to the Rotary Club of Dubai Jumeirah’s weekly meeting. Dr. Turrentine had hospital meetings the following day to discuss the new Children’s hospital being built in Dubai in Princess Haya’s name (originally from Jordan). Many personal connections to Princess Haya’s staff to Indiana and Riley Hospital make Dubai an interesting place to expand this Riley/Rotary/Gift of Life connection. We arrived on Wednesday early evening to Dubai’s international airport. What a beautiful but toasty day! Suzane from Princess Haya’s office had arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport. What a wonderfully helpful arrangement this was to have the quiet an hard-working Mushtaq!
Mushtaq and Dr. Turrentine

Dubai is a large and busy city…to have arranged for our own transport to our hotel with the tight turn around to the Rotary meeting would have proven difficult. We are so thankful for our driver Mushtaq who took us out to Jumeirah as well. We had no idea this was such a drive and in so much traffic!
We arrived late to the Rotary Club of Jumeirah’s meeting unfortunately, but Dr. Mitry was awaiting our arrival. What a beautiful location for their meeting and a vibrant group of Rotarians in this club! We had a lovely visit, told briefly of our mission, and offered to operate on a child from UAE or surrounding area needing heart surgery through our Indiana Gift of Life program at Riley if the Dubai Clubs could help identify and arrange transport to Indiana. We have found that although UAE has a national he
The are system, there are no local Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeons and many Children are sent abroad for their surgeries. This will be a great way to kick off a partnership between our Indiana D6560 Gift of Life and Dubai and Indiana Rotary clubs! We would love to work together ultimately for a Vocational Training Team to bring children needing surgery from all over the Middle East.20140927-025947.jpg

Dr. Mitry, 2013-2014 President Rotary Club of Dubai Cosmopolitan

RC of Dubai Jumeirah President exchanging banners with me

Our second full day in Dubai was spent mostly in Dubai’ s Healthcare City and meeting with the Al Jalila Foundation as well as Nart and Suzane of Princess Haya’s office. It was a very full and interesting day in this well planned and organized city. We had approximately 30 minutes “extra” to check out the amazing sight of the tallest building in the world- the Burj Khalifa. Beautiful!

Simulation Lab in Dubai’s HealthCare City

The Burj Khalifa!
We would leave late that evening to fly to London, but the flight was cancelled. It was along night in the Dubai airport knowing we would arrive late for the Strategic Planning Conference in London. Dr. Rania Schimmelpfennig and Sheila Rocchio would join us there for their valuable input on this important planning meeting to update everyone involved with the Uganda Heart Institute and where to go from here with this program for the wonderful people of Uganda.

We arrived I the afternoon to London and remarkably our adorable cab took us (not by prior arrangemement!) past Westminster Abby, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace on the way to our hotel. We quickly changed to meeting attire and met the rest of the group where presentations were already underway. Dr. Lwabe, Dr. Mwambu, Dr.Omagino, and Gertrude from nursing were all present as we were hosted by the wonderful people from Chain of Hope. Dr. Sable and representatives from National Medical Center in Washington D.C., and CardioStart were present as well. We had a very fruitful set of sessions laying out the challenges and plans for success in Kampala at UHI. All left feeling this was a very helpful, frank discussion of the issues and plans forward.

Dr. Turrentine leading surgical discussions
Group Picture from Uganda Strategic Planning Conference

In eight days, we had operated on 4 beautiful children, forged new friendships in new lands, and laid new plans for ways forward in established partnerships. What an amazing, productive trip!

Written by stephkinnaman

September 27, 2014 at 12:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team Trip 2013 to Uganda Heart Institute-Saturday’s Good-byes

with one comment

Saturday started by noting that Brittany and Trina had not returned early morning as planned as Moses apparently developed low oxygen sats. They have been working to fashion a CPAP of sorts from the ventilator and this seems to have helped when percussions to his chest did not. As soon as our driver meets the rest of us at the hotel, we are off. We had planned to do brief rounds, say good-bye to all the patients, have a brief debriefing with the UHI staff, and then leave the hospital by 10:30… Best laid plans…Moses’ chest Xray showed significant fluid in the left lung and required re-intubation (on a ventilator again).

Most of the team at Moses’s bedside

Again, ventilation is a struggle as the power is out in the area of the oxygen supply this morning. Dr. Mwambu wheels in a huge oxygen tank to attach to the ventilator directly as backup. Will increase his Lasix, watch him on the vent, and Dr. Mwambu will keep us updated via email. The rest of the children are doing very well. Riana is recovering well in her first day post-operatively.

20131103-175407.jpgRiana and her father

Catherine is recovering well, eating and no problems. She is getting stronger


Redeemer is still paced at this time by pacemaker, but we are still hopeful this resolve in the next week. Otherwise, she is looking great.


Gloria is in the step-down unit and doing well postop day #2. She was blowing bubbles and smiling a lot with her mom.


Yasin looks so much better! He was the most dramatic improvement in the last 24 hours. He was started last evening on their equivalent of the antibiotic Zosyn in addition to the starndard cephalosporin antibiotic and he is smiling again. Afebrile, and eating when we first peeked in the unit. So happy to see this handsome guy’s big turn-around!


Joanita is doing great as well and should move to the ward today after her lines and chest tubes are removed.


Pius has mellowed and is doing well also. He almost musters a smile at the crazy Mazungas in the room…almost!


Kato’s diarrhea has resolved in the ward. His mother says he wants to nurse all the time…She has been trying to offer other nourishment as she feels she does not have enough to satisfy him.


Sharif is looking so much stronger! he is walking about confidently now in the halls!


Justine is still sleeping a good bit, it appears and is not happy about getting up to walk over to cut the cake! Her parents have typed up a sweet thank ou note and posted at the foot of her bed!



Rose and Sherna have long left to home (last Thursday’s surgical cases).

Given all the work to stabilize Moses, the cake-cutting in the ward for the children and to say good-bye to the families is delayed and still quite difficult to get everyone together for one picture as a large group. Hopefully someone has a copy of the entire group with the families, but I do not… This is one we found with some of the team, but still not all…


After giving all the moms hugs and drying Justine’s tears, we convene in a tiny room to discuss the week in a debriefing with Dr. Omagino (Director of UHI), Dr. Mwambu, Flavia and Anna from nursing, and our entire team. Strengths are noted with challenges to conquer as well, nearly all in facilities, equipment, and supplies.



We finish the debriefing after 12:30, pack the trunks and pile in the van to get back to the hotel. There is a little time for packing, some eat lunch, and others go our our favorite spot in the mall next door, Banana Boat for gifts for home. We had hoped to enjoy some of Entebbe before getting to the airport for check-in, but the team is tired and would prefer just to get to Entebbe to sit. Grace recommends the perfect place for a quick dinner with beautiful views of Lake Victoria. We enjoy sunset there before checking in at the airport and bidding our dedicated drivers for the week good-bye. George, Patrick, Paul, and Moses waited long hours for us daily, not knowing when we would leave the hospital. We so appreciate everyone’s dedication!


What an amazing week at UHI…so productive in terms of number of patients treated, skills transferred between the teams, and improvements noted. The UHI staff, cardiologists and surgeons are a dedicated, intelligent group of Ugandans, well-skilled and ready to treat their Ugandan patients with congenital heart disease. They still need continued equipment, financial, and facilities support to meet the quality of their skills now to build more capacity.

Our Riley/Rotary VTT is so thankful to have been touched by this collaboration for four years to date. In addition to our thanks to this amazing crew at Uganda Heart Institute, we want to thank the following:
Gift of Life International has set the groundwork to bring 4 teams a year to help with the infrastructure of governmental assistance as well…
The Rotary Club of Kampala North as the Host Sponsor Club and Rotary Club of Greenfield as the International Sponsor Club with contributions from the Rotary Club of Indianapolis and District Funds from D9211 and D6560, then matched by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International make this logistically and financially possible…
The friends and colleagues who cover for the amazing, dedicated team members from Riley Hospital for Children (as well as my hard-working American Health Network-Greenfield colleagues covering me while I blog from the other side of the world!)…
Our wonderful, patient, supportive families…
Our supply donors (names may be updated in the near future)…
The Cheer Guild at Riley who sent the gift bags for the patients…
RC of Greenfield and D6560 for the iStat Machines and in a previous year, the headlight for Dr. Turrentine
Grace Agwaru for her in-country coordination of patient information for follow-up and our hotel and food arrangements

And most importantly, this selfless group of Riley physicians and health professionals who may not yet be Rotarians, but demonstrate Service Above Self in their everyday work and here on their vacation time as well…Engaging Rotary and Changing Lives!
We may be changing the patients’ lives, but our lives are forever changed in the process…What an honor to work with each and every one of them!

Cath Team

OR/ ICU Team
Who knows what the future will hold for this group? Another trip to Uganda in 2014, and/or expanding to new areas of the world?

Dr. Turrentine leaving the OR after the final surgery in Uganda at UHI…

Written by stephkinnaman

November 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team Trip 2013 to Uganda Heart Institute- The Final Friday

with 2 comments

The final day of operating starts with a quick breakfast and all team members left together instead of the 2-wave approach like the last 2 days. The children did well overnight. Trina and Brittany with Dr. Joel have them all settled. The Chest X-rays are done and put up on the viewer all ready for rounds. Joanita looks great, is sucking her thumb and is ready to move to the step-down unit. Gloria is doing well. Her mother is by her side nearly all the time. Catherine is fussy. Her mother is bedside as well and tries to keep her calm.

Redeemer is sleeping, had some pleural effusions and will require a little more work before taking out her chest tubes.

Justine is looking good and will move to the ward today.

20131102-005410.jpgJustine in the ward

Sharif will move to the ward as well…in fact, I caught his picture as he moved! Slow and steady, he made his way to his family in the ward. It is a triumphant walk for these kids to make the approximately 30 yards walk to the ward. Although they are still quite sore and it is difficult, they are greeted by excited family members there. Many of them could not have walked that far before surgery. They are big steps for these children given the Gift of Life!

Sharif walking

Sheila told me of a discussion she and Sharif had yesterday…she had offered him Goldfish. He ate only a few and then wanted to tuck the rest away. She kept telling him to eat them all, they are all for him, but he refused. he finally said to her “No, I will need them for tomorrow.” Amazing that at 7 years of age, he already knows how to ration himself. Hopefully, he and his family can be signed up for the Nutrition program through Gift of Life Uganda so he will never have to eat just a few Goldfish at a time again!

Pius is lethargic today. He has quit fighting everyone and being grumpy, so we wonder what is up. Labs come back and he is terribly anemic (hct 18). He receives some blood and has a little fight in him now.

Yasin is a little febrile. Antibiotics are added and will be watched still in the step-down unit.

Moses is our first patient of the day. Moses in a 24 month old little guy of only 17 lbs from Kampala. He is the youngest of 3. He has multiperforate ASD and a subpolmonic stenosis and currently on no meds, but the loudest murmur you’ll ever hear! It is hard to hear his breath sounds for the continuous, loud murmur!


During his surgery, DG Emmanuel visits UHI again. this time at just the right time to witness one of the surgeries here firsthand. He and Asst Governor Dorcus, Rotarian Harriett, and Rotarian Margaret, and the Country Chair. all were introduced in the OR and welcomed by Dr. Turrentine himself. Dr. Mwambu even gave a play-by-play for the crew for some time as the patient was prepared to stop the heart and go on bypass. We are so happy to partner with D9211! making amazing things like this project to build this program is what Rotary is all about, working together across the world to change lives! thank you DG Emmanuel and RC Kampala North for your partnership!

DG Emmanuel in OR

He has a closure of the ASD and Pulmonary patch. His surgery goes well with just a small gradient across the pulmonary valve found on post-bypass TEE by Dr. Cordes and Dr. Lwabbe. As has become customary it seems, the electricity goes out, but for the most brief time of the week. Moses’ chest is closed up by Dr. Oketcho and Dr. Alfred and he comes back to ICU. The UHI nurses get him all shocked up to the monitors and his mom is able to come back to see him soon after.

Dr. Walker, Chas, and Dr. Schimmelpfennig go straight to work to ready the room for the next patient. Mike is already getting his pump ready also. Sheila and Dr. Cordes are busy in the ICU with Moses and all the other patients as well. We cycle through for a brief lunch and Riana is brought back to the OR.

20131102-011608.jpgRiana yesterday

Riana is a beautiful 7 year old girl who we met last night with Dr, Walker and Dr. Schimmelpfennig. She has an ASD and Pulmonary Stenosis as well. She will have a pericardial closure of the ASD and a PA Patch. She too is tiny for her age at only 30 lbs. Her mother had several questions about her condition and if surgery was really necessary last night. Mom had tears in her eyes as we left her. What a difficult process for these families, knowing it is the child’s only hope, but so difficult to think of a big procedure by doctors you have never met before…little do they know, the Riley Team is the best for the job! (says a non-associated Family Physician who would never allow anyone else to do my child or my patients’ surgeries if up to me!) :)

Riana on way to OR today

Her surgery goes well and while Dr. Mwambu closes, Dr. Turrentine and Chas ensure all we brought from home will be returned in the trunks. Riana is brought back to the ICU for her recovery. Mike and Dr. walker and Dr. Schimmelpfennig also pack up their trunks. Riana is wheeled back to the ICU before 6 PM and is doing well immediately postoperatively. The children have been given bags of goodies that are age-appropriate by Child Life at Riley. Trina and Sheila came upWith a great idea to print a picture of each child with their surgery date on a cute plastic frame. The parents are so loving them that the newly operated children’s parents are asking for them! Here is Moses’ framed pic…


A plan is made for tomorrow’s rounds, then a full plan is made during evening rounds with Dr. T, Dr. Mwambu, Dr. Cordes and Sheila with the UHI nurses. We round on the ward as well where we last see Justine. She had just awoke from a nap and was signaling us to come to her. she held my hand one one side of the bed, then still reached for Dr. T with her other hand. Justine held his hand while they talked. What a sweet moment!


It was a big 2 weeks here…24 caths, 13 surgeries- the largest mission to date with our Riley/Rotary VTT! We celebrated by accepting an invitation from the wonderful Kampala North Rotarians to dinner at the Ndere dance troupe Center where we enjoyed a Ugandan meal and amazing African dancing! What a great experience thanks to our host club sponsors!



Written by stephkinnaman

November 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers