A couple of weeks ago, I scrubbed a maxillectomy on a young man here. His facial tumor was the size of a baseball and it was imbedded in his left cheek. The tumor was not an ameloblastoma. It was a fibrous dysplasia, bone cells run amok, but still benign.
Other than the tumor in his face, his most distinguishing feature was a bad left leg. It was shorter than his right leg and useless. When he walked into the OR, he walked in using a really awesome giant walking stick. The stick looked like it w an all natural tree branch that was carved just for him.
The look on his face as he entered the OR was just priceless. He was smiling from ear to ear. He was so excited to have his face repaired. That smile was all the compensation I needed to stand for 6 hours to get that tumor out of his face. What joy. His was the only case we did that day because it was so long.
After dinner, I crawled into my cave. I opened up Facebook to see the latest from friends. I found a photo of the man we had just done surgery on. It was taken from behind.
Ha! I knew him because I just did his surgery! I ran around the ship to find my friend so I could tell her the happy news. She was so ecstatic. She told me how she watched him walk so slowly across the giant football field and how painful it was to watch him. When she saw him leaving, she thought it was because we had turned him away. You see, he’s too old to have his leg fixed. She never saw his face up close!
Talk about serendipity. She got to know his story after all. God is good! 😀