WARNING: THERE ARE GRAPHIC PICTURES IN THIS POST OF AN EYE SURGERY.
The Oriental Hotel was our home for the next 4 nights. It is a beautiful place located on the beach just a few hundred yards from the Memorial of General MacArthur's Leyte landing. This is the beach that allied forces landed on as they began the liberation of the Philippine Islands during WWII.
It was also the location where I was able to read the Eagle Charge for Christian Hadlock's Eagle Court of Honor. We were able to participate via Face Time. What a great opportunity.
We were able to meet the Mayor's representative prior to our engagement at the hospital. From left to right, Member of the Stake Presidency, Dr. Call, Stake President Aban, Tacloban Mayor's Chief of Staff, Sister and I, Dr. Mae Singson and Manny Hernandez from Mabuhay Deseret.
Our next visit was to the Eastern Visayan Regional Medical Center. We had a presentation ceremony that allowed us to give equipment to this facility for furthering their work in Ophthalmology. After the presentation and lunch, we were able to visit the wards and see some of the patients.
As with other hospitals in the country the hospital is old, understaffed, with little or no equipment and generally more than one patient to a bed.
It is here that we met John Rae. He is a two year old little boy with Retinal Blastoma. He was brought to the hospital only a few days prior and was in a lot of pain. His family lives on a small island quit a distance away and could not afford to come to the hospital until now. Unfortunately, the tumor is very large and has engulfed the eye completely. The ophthalmologists had no idea on how to proceed on such a complicated case. His other eye also has a tumor that is still contained in the eye itself. He is certainly blind and has no possibility for sight. It was by no coincidence that Dr. Call and Dr. Singson showed up when they did.
I took time to rub his abdomen and talk quietly to him and felt the Spirit take control and calm this little boy. As I would begin to move away, he began to cry again, so I spent much more time comforting him as I felt the need to do so. This was an amazing spiritually experience as I felt my work was be an agent of our Father In Heaven. This precious little boy is being watched over by angels. I know it, I felt it.
They asked if we would like to go into the surgery. We were excited to say 'Yes'. We gowned up with Dr. Singson and prepared for what we were about to see. We were going to see a surgery performed by two of the best Ocular Plastic surgeons in the world.
The tumor was exposed to see how to proceed. The Doctor's had gone over the MRI in great detail looking for anything that could be a problem. Satisfied that they were prepared, they began to isolate the tumor for removal.
Dr. Singson holds the tumor back as Dr. Call isolates the optic nerve to be severed. They have worked together before as Dr. Singson worked with Dr. Call in Salt Lake City to gain her skills.
The tumor has been removed and leaves a large cavity. How is this going to be filled?
The skin around the eye socket is separated from the tissue beneath and pulled to allow it to line the optic cavity. Within two weeks it will adhere to the cavity and begin to protect that area. A piece of gauze will hold the tissue in place as it begins to adhere. Dr. Singson finishes up to the procedure by sewing up the incision on the temple.
John Rae has a long way to go. After a pathology report, they will know the future for this little guy. The tumor in the other eye will probably lead to the other eye being removed. My prayers are with little John Rae that the pain he was experiencing will leave. No matter what happens I know it is in the hands of our Father in Heaven. He knows John Rae personally.
By the way, Sister Hadlock took all of these pictures and more as we observed a miracle.