One of my favorite things about working for the Preemptive Love Coalition is the chance to stand before you every few weeks and give a transparent account as to how we are putting your hard-earned money to work in Iraq to benefit the thousands of children who are counting on us to help develop cardiac care on their behalf.
Today I'm back in southern Iraq, a few hours outside of Basra, for Remedy Mission V and it is such a joy!
(Because we blog and Tweet in real-time we are withholding the name of the city to minimize any risk to our local and volunteer staff). In the last 8 months we have given more than 95 children a shot at lifesaving operations and invested more than 20,000 cumulative hours in both didactic and hands-on training for Iraqi doctors and nurses. One of the most exciting things about Remedy V is the slower pace of surgeries and training. In a world where bigger and faster is usually better, I am really excited to slow things down this trip for the sake of greater learning and better results. In past missions we took a faster pace, kicked the wheels of the system a little bit, stretched it to its limits and obtained a very clear sense for what was possible and what was not possible at this developmental juncture.
With two full missions at this particular hospital under our belt we have more clarity than ever about how we should be proceeding.
So the pace of surgeries on this mission, while slower than previous trips here, seems to be yielding exciting opportunities. Local Iraqis are working hard yet are also less stressed than previous trips because the pace and complexity of surgeries is more in line with their current developmental needs. Our volunteers from America, the United Kingdom and Europe are finding they have more time to teach in the down times between critical care.
And all of this amounts to more lives saved and better education for Iraqi doctors and nurses who are giving so fully of themselves to learn to care for children facing life-threatening heart defects. Stay tuned this week for amazing stories of your life-changing donations hard at work!