ORMOC CITY, Philippines – Doctors and volunteer nurses of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America (SPSA) were feted by Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and Ormoc City mayoral candidate Richard Gomez to a farewell dinner and fellowship at the Sabin Resort Hotel last Friday night.
The event was part of SPSA’s “Giving Back” program and the second surgical mission that Torres-Gomez sponsored for her constituents.
The five-day mission that started on Jan. 21 served 954 people, or 130 more than in 2011 when the SPSA went to Ormoc for the first time.
The SPSA mission had a huge turnout of beneficiaries in spite of an earlier surgical mission by the International Surgical Health Initiative in partnership with the Ormoc City government.
The SPSA mission had 112 major surgeries involving the thyroid, brain tumors, hysterectomies and ovarian cysts; 112 minor lumps and bumps, plastic surgeries, 28 cleft and harelip cases; 95 cataract and ophthalmology cases, hernias, 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 ophthamology cases at the Ormoc District Hospital.
For her part, Torres-Gomez expressed her gratitude to the SPSA and Samar Rep. Mel Sarmiento who introduced her to SPSA’s Dr. Manny Cacdac in a party in Manila in 2010, and to her elder sister Caren Torres-Rama who organized the mission.
She said she would love to host the SPSA every year if it wishes.
Dr. Leo Madarang, current SPSA president, said that of all their missions in the Philippines, their two missions in Ormoc have proven to be the most enjoyable.
Madarang said he personally called the mission “Tulong Kapatid, Tulong Kababayan” as they were paying forward the blessings that they have received.
“Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me,” he said, quoting a Bible verse.
“We shall return,” he said to the cheers of the 70-man team of doctors and their wives, mostly nurses.
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