The mission is part of the SPSA’s “Giving Back” program and the second surgical mission that the congresswoman sponsored for her constituents.
The five-day mission that started Monday, January 21, operated on 954 people, a good 130 people more than in 2011 when the same group of missionary surgeons was in Ormoc.
The huge number is in spite of an earlier surgical mission by the International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI) held last week, in partnership with the City Government of Ormoc. It was the first major surgical mission Mayor Eric Codilla hosted in his nine years as mayor.
Lucy’s Surgical Mission Part 2 with the SPSA operated on 113 major surgeries like thyroid, brain tumors and ovarian cysts; 112 minor lumps and bumps, 28 cleft and harelip cases; 95 cataract and ophthalmology cases and 606 dental extractions.
The operations were held simultaneously in three hospitals. The major cases were handled at the OSPA-Farmers Medical Center, the minor lumps and bumps at the Gatchalian Hospital and the dental and ophthalmology cases at the Ormoc District Hospital.
In honoring the doctors, Richard Gomez said they are thankful to them for coming over and helping needy Ormocanons and constituents of the 4th district. He said that the doctors’ fees alone, if quantified into money, was worth P 20-million. Add to it the medicines, the anesthesia, the OR charges, the hospitalization, he quantified the whole mission at P 45.6-million.
For her part, Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez was profuse in her thanks to the SPSA and to colleague Cong. Mel Sarmiento of Samar who introduced her to Dr. Manny Cacdac, a neurosurgeon and the SPSA team leader in 2011. Sarmiento’s introducing them paved the SPSA’s first visit to Ormoc in 2011. The SPSA that year operated and treated 824 patients.
Rep. Lucy thanked them for giving hope to the hundreds of people with various kinds of ailments who’ve coped with it for years. She added that she would love to host them every year if they wish.
The congresswoman also lauded her elder sister Caren Torres-Rama for her organization skills. Caren, she said, prepared for the SPSA’s arrival, making sure that every detail was covered. She described her as like a battalion of soldiers rolled in one person and can be trusted to organize any event smoothly.
In response, Dr. Leo Madarang, current SPSA president, said they were also thankful for the warm response they got from their hosts.
He said of all their missions here in the Philippines, their two missions in Ormoc have proved to be “the most enjoyable”. Every night, Richard and Lucy would treat them to a sumptuous dinner with native food on the menu that the Fil-Am surgeons really take delight in, and throw in some entertainment.
Dr. Madarang said he personally called their mission “Tulong Kapatid, Tulong Kababayan” and they were paying forward to co-Filipinos the blessings they got. “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me”, he quoted the Bible, adding the team would be glad to return to Ormoc City.
“We shall return”, he said, to the cheers of the 70-man team of doctors and their wives, who were mostly nurses.
The night ended with ballroom dancing after a two-hour entertainment portion top-billed by singer Geneva Cruz and a pair of ballroom dancing world champions, interspersed by numbers from Lucy’s dance scholars and a Leyte IDOL champion singer. By Lalaine M. Jimenea