Cancer Surgery

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When a life is at stake

The indigenous woman lives in the rain forest in the state of Puno.  Her abdomen is getting bigger and looks like she is in the late stages of pregnancy.  But in her uterus nothing moves.  Instinctively Ernestina* feels she is in a very serious situation.

She hears about the Diospi Suyana hospital in the state of Apurimac.  She has heard all the patients there, including the Quechuas, are treated with respect.  Should she take the long journey in her condition?  The trip to Curahuasi takes 15 hours.  Her confidence increases.  If what others say is true about Diospi Suyana, they can help.

Gynecologist Dr. Jens Hassfeld interviews the patient.  Then follows with a conscientious physical examination.  His suspicion is soon confirmed by an ultrasound.  The indigenous woman is suffering from a large tumor in her abdomen, most likely emanating from the ovaries.  All signs point to a malignant tumor.

Dr. Susen Dressler leads the anesthesia.  The monitor displays the regular heartbeats of the patient, while Dr. Hassfeld – assisted by OTA Simon Giesbrecht – hopes to offer the women perspective that extends beyond a few months.  God is the Lord of life and death.  That is the belief of the gynecologist from Baden, Wurttemberg and therefore he has placed the sick woman, nurses, and the whole surgical team in the custody of the Most High.

Three long hours elapse.  Both ovaries are fused together by the malignant tumor.  The dissection is not easy, but eventually they finish.

As a missionary doctor, Dr. Hassfeld earns nothing for this intervention. His pay is the knowledge of having done the right thing.  And if chemotherapy does well, the mother can accompany her two children for many years.

Thanks be to God, the entire surgical team, and to our supporters from around the world. *Name has been changed

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