The team arrived safely in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Sunday. When we left San Francisco, the airline couldn’t guarantee that all of our boxes of medical supplies and equipment would make it onto our flight, so all we could do was cross our fingers that some of them wouldn’t have to be sent on the next flight, which would arrive 24 hours later. Fortunately, upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City we found all 28 boxes at baggage claim… whew! We loaded up all our bags and boxes onto a truck and after a nice lunch in HCMC we drove the 40ish miles to My Tho. After we checked into the hotel we walked down the street to the hospital to drop off the boxes and explore the facility.
Tien Giang General Hospital is a modern and clean facility, although it still doesn’t compare to our standards in the U.S. The surgeons were satisfied with the operating room setup as were the nurses with the recovery room. Team leader Ken Bloome, MD called the first meeting back at the hotel. We discussed the logistics of clinic day, where we screen and schedule the patients. Roles were determined and all agreed on the process. After nearly 24 hours of travel and a long first day, we finally went to bed.