Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Follow us now as we prepare for Mission 2013 to the Hospital Un Canto a la Vida in Quito, Ecuador.  
Enjoy the stories and pictures during the mission which will happen between February 15th and March 3, 2013.

After you've looked around the new website and enjoyed the stories of impact, please consider an online donation to promote our cause!

It's all about helping children and adults achieve healthy limbs.  Adults need to get back to work to provide for their families!  Kids can be active and healthy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An email from the President and Founder of SIGN Fracture Care International

Sent: Monday, April 09, 2012 5:44 PM
To: Marc Moreau
Subject: SIGN in Ecuador

Dear Marc,

We are very pleased to partner with you in Ecuador. I am very happy that you are spreading SIGN throughout Ecuador and also happy that you are talking with the government to sponsor many programs in Ecuador.

It is a pleasure to work with you.

Best regards,

Lewis Zirkle, M.D.
President and Founder

Creating Orthopaedic Equality Since 1999
451 Hills St, Suite B Richland WA 99354
(p) 509.371.1107
(f) 509.371.1316

Check out this great article in the St. Albert Gazette


Thanks, Lynne, for sharing your experience with CAMTA.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some pretty impressive statistics!

This is what happened during the CAMTA 2012 Mission:
  • Adult patients treated = 34 single hip surgeries, 4 bilateral hip surgeries plus 1 revision (Flavio)
  • Pediatric patients treated = 24 children including 4 with bilateral procedures: 10 clubfeet, 5 femoral osteotomies, 5 pelvic osteotomies, 2 open reductions of hip, 7 tendon releases as sole procedure for residual foot deformity or CP, 1 removal of plate at knee with hemi-epiphyseolysis, 1 removal of hardware as sole procedure
  • Physio, nursing and orthopedic MD teaching sessions were presented
  • CAMTA donated a Glidescope and certified anesthesiologist on its use
  • CAMTA loaned a SIGN Nail system to the hospital in Babahoyo, Los Rios, Ecuador. There are now 3 CAMTA supported SIGN Nail systems in place in Ecuador.
  • Medical personnel shared clinical consultations during rounds at hospitals in Loja and Babahoyo, Ecuador.
  • CAMTA placed surgical and anesthesia equipment (instruments and Bair Huggers and shelving) into service at Cuenca, Loja, Babahoyo and Quito hospitals
  • Team member gave a presentation to the office of the Vice President of Ecuador on early treatment of hip and foot deformities and the SIGN Nail system
  • a presentation was given to Grade 9 to 12 students at Academia Cotopaxi High School on the Power of Volunteerism as a component of Global Citizenship.
  • CAMTA improved connections with Life Pharma and members and friends of the Board of the Foundation Tierra Nueva
  • Group members met with the President of the Ecuadorean Canadian Chamber of Commerce
It's amazing what 100 people can do in a two week mission!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wrapping up the Mission with Personal Takeaways

As the 2012 CAMTA mission wraps up the remaining patients in recovery receive their discharge instructions and the hand-off to the local medical team is completed. Team Two finalizes the inventory, packing and storing of medical supplies. Team One is back in Canada re-adjusting to life back home, catching up with work, family and friends and has some time to share stories and reflect on what they took away from their volunteer experience.

As volunteers we get so much out of our experience with CAMTA. Having participated twice on a CAMTA mission I am awestruck at how quickly a group of strangers can come from across Canada and get down to quality team work to achieve a goal. Organizations spend hours of time training their staff on teamwork and collaboration and somehow, whether it is the clear task at hand, or our great sense of purpose – we get down to the mission work quickly and bond as if we have worked together for years, in a matter of days. Volunteering with CAMTA is a reminder to me of the quality of the human spirit and our ability to work together. I asked other volunteers to share their takeaways.

                                       (Some of the Week One team in front of the Radisson Hotel.)

Here’s what a new CAMTA volunteer had to say;
My CAMTA experience renewed my dedication to being a nurse and helping my patients. Everyone respected each other in their respective roles and we all worked together to provide the best care possible. To me that is what healthcare should be. I am very thankful for the relationships that I have in my life. Family and relationships was a very strong theme that I observed from the people of Quito. It made me resolve to work on the relationships that I have at home even more.”

From a long-serving volunteer;
“My biggest take away is always the people - both the patients, families and volunteers. It never ceases to amaze me how much people give of themselves without asking for anything in return. I ask myself how we can change the culture in Canada to reflect what we see here. After every year I have a bit of culture shock returning back to Canada and it takes me about a week to recover and deal again with a culture of selfishness and greed, that's the bad part -  the good thing is that the Mission always makes me want to do more, not just in Quito, but also at home.”

From a young student volunteer;
“I think this volunteer experience has opened my eyes to how hard people work and how dedicated people are about a cause they are passionate about. The amount of work that is required to organize and put on an operation like CAMTA is phenomenal; and to think that the sole motivation is for charity, without the incentive of making money, is extraordinary.”

There is so much to give, and so much to get in return. One of Ecuador’s most noted artists Oswaldo Guayasamin said; “if we do not have the strength to grasp our hands with everyone’s hands, if we do not have the tenderness to hold in our arms the children of the world, if we do not have the will to clean the earth of all its armies; this small planet will be a dry and black body in a dark space”.

Ecuador teaches us every year that the human spirit is strong and that the power of giving can sow the seeds of change.

We welcome you to experience this for yourself by volunteering with CAMTA. For more information go to our website: www.camta.ca. Recruitment for 2013 starts in June.  

What was your takeaway from your volunteer experience with CAMTA? Please post a comment on this blog.

Janet Emmett, CAMTA Week One Volunteer 

Would you like to support our work in Ecuador? Please click here to donate to CAMTA.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2012 Mission Accomplished!

It´s time for us to say goodbye to Quito, Ecuador for another year. By all accounts, CAMTA´s 2012 mission was a highly successful one. Today, a few members of the team went back to the hospital to check on the last two patients who were to be released today. Some members took in a morning soccer game, while others went sightseeing in the Old Town, hiking or visiting the nearby hot springs. Still others went on a field trip to the equator. Regardless of their plans, everyone enjoyed their day off and was thankful for the fabulous weather.

The team gets together for one last meal at the hotel tonight. Several members of the team will be staying on in Ecuador, or taking some time to travel around South America. The rest of the team leaves Quito early tomorrow morning, flying to Houston. From there the group splits up with the majority heading back to home base, Edmonton.

Our 2012 mission may be over, but check the blog frequently for stories and information about CAMTA throughout the year!

Would you like to support our work in Ecuador? Please click here to donate to CAMTA.

Canadian Ambassador Andrew Shisko and CAMTA

On Tuesday evening (Feb. 28) CAMTA was honoured to receive an invitation from the Canadian Ambassador to Ecuador, Andrew Shisko. He and his wife Margaret welcomed the entire Week Two CAMTA team to their residence for an informal meet and greet. Other guests included representatives from the Academia Cotopaxi (the high school which provides CAMTA’s student translators – see blog post from Feb. 25), TRAP – The Rhythmic Arts Project (founded by former Beach Boy Eddie Tuduri), El Triangulo, and the Tierra Nueva Foundation.

Ambassador Shisko has been a huge supporter of CAMTA from the beginning of his posting in Ecuador in 2009. He recognizes the invaluable help that CAMTA has provided to the country, not only from the medical perspective, but also as an inspirational force for training, volunteerism, and mentorship for medical professionals, students and the young people of Ecuador.

Here he poses for a picture with CAMTA translator Sammy Ruiz and Patricia Jarrin, Medical Director of Un Canto a la Vida hospital .

Members of the embassy staff followed up that event with a visit on Friday morning to Un Canto a la Vida, touring the ward and speaking to patients and CAMTA volunteers about their experiences.

We thank Andrew and Margaret Shisko and the rest of the Canadian Embassy staff very much for their generosity and support, and for giving us the opportunity to meet so many people who represent organizations that do such good work here and around the world.

Would you like to support our work in Ecuador? Please click here to donate to CAMTA.

Packing Day

Saturday is packing day, and, that means all hands on deck! Including...

...OR Nurses Donna Brown...

...and Karen Aguana...

...along with OR Nurse Dorothy Sy and Layperson Brent Dysart. They all pack bags in one corner of our common room.

Surgeons Lance Bredo and Paul Moreau...

OR Nurses Shannon Begg (l), Cori Kalven (r), and Eileen Guilfoyle (below) count supplies.

Meanwhile, translator Maddy MacKechnie helps out by entering patient information into the CAMTA database.

Dan Ducholke looks over inventory lists with Recovery Room nurses Pauline Worsfold and Bev Runka...

...and then he checks all the boxes and bags and makes sure they are properly labeled and sealed.
In fact, the packing begins as early as Thursday afternoon. By Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, approximately 50 hockey bags filled with materials and supplies that will be making their way back to Edmonton are ready to go. Thirty-seven bags and crates are left behind and stored at the hospital for next year’s mission.

With everyting packed and ready to go, Sunday is a free day for the team before a long travel day on Monday. Another very successful mission to Quito has ended!

Would you like to support our work in Ecuador? Please click here to donate to CAMTA.

Johana Hidalgo, Part Two

You might remember Johana Hidalgo from a previous post (Feb. 29). Johana came to CAMTA with rheumatoid arthritis which had severely affected her left hip.

She made it through surgery with flying colours and took her first steps yesterday with help from physiotherapist Judy Black.

The arthritis has affected so much of Johana's body, using crutches is harder for her than most people. Her triceps are weak and she doesn't have full use of her hands so she can't grip very well. Regardless, she never lost her smile and positive attitude, and won the hearts of the entire team.

Halfway back to her room, Johana rested and posed for a picture with 17-year old wardmate Elvis Imbaquingo who had received an operation on his left Achilles tendon.

Earlier today, Johana recevied a cortizon shot to her knee from GP Dr. Denis Vincent to help with her arthritis pain.

The folks from Radio Canada joined her today on her return home. We'll let you know where and when their report airs so we can follow her progress.

Would you like to support our work in Ecuador? Please click here to donate to CAMTA.

Maria Viracocha

Every patient who has had a hip replacement operation must be able to successfully climb up and down CAMTA's "stairs to recovery" before they can be released. So many people have stairs that they will need to negotiate once they get home, that they need to know exactly how to climb them without risking injury.

Amazingly, most of the patients who have had their hips replaced recover extremely quickly and are discharged within two days after surgery.

Maria Viracocha is a bit of a special case. Maria lives on a mountainside, and has at least 50 steps to climb before she even reaches her house. Given that, the physiotherapists have decided to keep her an extra day in the hospital to give her a little more time to practice to ensure that she is strong enough before she goes home.

Having made it up, Maria makes her way down the CAMTA stairs with Physiotherapist Brenda Corie offering encouragement and support.

Maria was thrilled that she has made it all the way down!

Maria proudly poses for a photo with translator Miriam van Diest and Brenda Corie. She was released on Saturday!

Would you like to support our work in Ecuador? Please click here to donate to CAMTA.