GMA travels to PI for medical mission - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMA travels to PI for medical mission

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - In the Philippines, Thanksgiving is not considered a holiday, but they are very thankful of a small group of heroes from Guam that came to their aid in their time of need.

Even in the worst of times their spirits are still high and their faith remains strong. They are survivors of one of the planets worst ever typhoons to make landfall but the story we're sharing isn't one you've heard in the headlines.

The world now is in Tacloban so they did not see the upper or northern part of Cebu," said Tristan with St. Luke's Medical Center.

KUAM joined the Guam Medical Association and St. Luke's Medical Center in their joint mission to serve thousands in need of medical attention in the Northern Cebu towns of Daanbantayan and Sogod. "The only thing we can say is Daanbantayan is 100% devastated," Tristan added.

We call it Ground Hero - a team - a little over a dozen strong  - of Guam physicians  and nurses  who swooped in and set up make shift hospitals in  local gyms and schools - at least in classrooms that were left standing.

Dr.  Ngueyn said, "Look at the patients how sick they are - if they only have cough and cold write prescription and send them out. If you feel that they're really sick because of their appearances that's when you listen to them and see what needs to be done. It should take about two to four minutes."

In the two days that we were there Guam's doctors and nurses treated over 2,000 patients, performing a myriad of medical procedures under unconventional circumstances such as having no electricity and no water. They performed procedures such as removing cysts, treating patients with gangrene, performing hundreds of tooth extractions, and for pregnant women it was the first time they'd ever undergone an ultra sound.

And while we saw moments celebrating   life, others were about saving lives, like the life of 4-year Ken Sumayang, whose family heard about the medical mission and brought him to the Sogod gym. He had been sick for two days and as he arrived experienced a seizure. His temperature 102 degrees.  

Dr. Nguyen added, "What we try to do now is try to cool him down as best we can with the rubbing alcohol and put the fan on him light hydration because his temperature drop. He won't seize."

After hydrating for a couple of hours little Ken was just fine. His mom said, "Thank you for helping my son for the convulsion to all the doctors the midwife and the dentist all of you thank you."

And just as it was much about helping the people of the Philippines the mission inside Ground Hero meant so much more to the team. Dr. Cruz said, "The mission is to help these people but its also healing us we realize how good we have it and it helps us put life into perspective. 2631 so I think it's a learning experience and its very gratifying to know that you're helping people out."

The medical team also visited the town of San Remigio where they treated an additional 527 patients. You'll want to make sure to stay tuned because in the coming weeks KUAM will broadcast a 30 minute television special on the medical mission called: Inside Ground Hero Aid to the Philippines.

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