Backtracking

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In the midst of my daily activities, working to engage patients and their families with activities to take their minds off the very serious business of going into surgery, I did not really stop very often to snap pictures. My focus was to BE with those who were there, as they wove the pot-holders, as they worked the jigsaw puzzles, as they drew with crayons and colored pencils, as I gave them little toy cars, or small stuffed animals. Typically, I was constantly “making my rounds” trying to gauge whether they WANTED to be doing something, or not. Sometimes, just letting a person BE with a smile or hello was more appropriate in the moment. Often I set up at a small table in open view, with crayons, decks of cards, puzzles, dominoes, and they would come over to select an activity.

In post-op, after they returned from surgery, patients were usually a bit groggy coming out of anesthesia and rest was what they needed, not diversion. Sometimes, in those lulls, I played cards with one or two of the staff members. I taught them the game of “Casino”, which I used to play with my Dad. I am sure there were also moments as I was sitting there that I drifted off, but soon enough, there would be another flurry of activity.

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Mr. Singh manages the Unity Hospital. He misses his home, where the air is clear and the fields are rich with green sugarcane.

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Family members gather in support of those going into surgery.

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The 5th floor wards about 25 beds.

A view of the pre-op ward.

Doctors making their morning rounds.

Staff having fun with origami to give to the kids.

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Sandra is the President-Elect of the LaVerne Rotary Club. Her role has been to transport patients to and from surgery. She has also pitched in with recreation therapy!

We think we should team up with the host Rotary Clubs (District 3110) to fulfill some items on Unity Hospital’s wish list!

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Dr. Shope, the Wandering Scholar

Dr. Richard Shope, the Wandering Scholar