May 29, 2012
He Walks Again
On Christmas Day, 2010, 72-year old Tabwebweiti (Tab) Arikitau was walking on a coral road on Ebeye heading for home when two rambunctious children knocked him down. The pain was excruciating. He dragged himself off the road and was taken to the hospital in a rickety old Kia with balding tires. All the little island hospital could do for his completely fractured left hip was to give him pain medication.
For fourteen months, he struggled to get around. The first two months the pain was so intense that he couldn’t sleep. Someone had to push him in a rusty old wheelchair.
Praise the Lord! Tabwebweiti is walking again! The Canvasback orthopedic team, on the little island of Ebeye from February 16 - March 2, replaced Arikitau’s hip with a brand new titanium alloy joint. And he is beaming! Tab was one of three hip replacements seen during the 9 day mission trip. The Canvasback team also performed 8 total knee replacements, 9 arthroscopies and 10 upper extremity surgeries; seeing a total of 163 patients. Tab thanks you and we thank you. Your donations are helping to make these stories possible.
“The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” Matthew 5:31
April 30, 2012
Returned To Keep A Two-Year-Old Promise
He wanted to return to Ebeye to fulfill his promise to a patient. It's not every day that a doctor will wait two years to complete his surgery plans. But orthopedic surgeon, Steve Peterson from Sonora, CA, had to do just that.
During a mission trip in 2010, Peterson met John Tabuaka, who was in need of a total knee replacement. Plans were made to perform the surgery; however on the day of the scheduled surgery, Peterson had to tell his patient that he didn’t have the right size implant. “I was so humbled by Tabuaka’s response. He had waited all weekend for his surgery and when I couldn’t do it, John said, ‘That’s okay, I’ll wait until you come back.’ I promised Tabuaka when I returned, his would be my first case.” Peterson returned to Ebeye last month and he was excited to be able to keep his promise. Tabuaka was the first of 30 patients to have orthopedic surgery.
In just nine days, the healing hands of our orthopedic team treated 163 patients and performed 30 surgeries, including 8 total knee replacements, 3 total hip replacements, 9 arthroscopies, and 10 upper extremity cases. The dental team examined 683 patients and performed 1,519 procedures on three different islands.
March 30, 2012
Canvasback Mission brings expertise to RMI
Our medical and dental health care professionals often say, “We received more than we gave.” Our teams work long hours in less than optimal conditions and they go the extra mile to give our patients excellent care. And many return to the islands time and time again. In this recent article published in the Kwajalein Hourglass, Sheila Gideon, Managing Editor gives recognition to the Canvasback Mission orthopedic and dental team. Our volunteers are committed to giving their God given talents to people who have no hope of receiving this specialized care. Read about our volunteers and the people they helped during the recent mission.
March 5, 2012
The students were surprised that healthy food could taste so good!
When 29 Majuro Island high school students were asked which activity they enjoyed most at the Canvasback Wellness Center some shouted, “Breakfast!” and others said “Music!” They were referring to the aerobic exercises to lively island songs. No one enjoyed the third activity, getting their finger pricked for blood sugar testing.
The breakfast must have seemed very different to these 10th graders from Assumption High whose regular breakfast was donuts and Kool-Aid. They were served orange juice blended with local bananas, cooked barley, oats, beans and greens, banana pancakes, and bran muffins. A fresh array of condiments were available such as; nuts, seeds, raisins, ground flax, applesauce, molasses, and peanut butter. Our bran muffins were made with fresh ground barley flour and rice bran.
The fourth activity was Fun and Games learning about nutrition! Maybe we need to dial up the “fun” part. Nobody voted for this one.
August 18, 2011
2011 Onboard available now!
The 2011 Summer ONBOARD Newsletter is here!
How do you defeat an epidemic of diabetes? How do baseball, boxing gloves and baking integrate into the three essential programs, Lifestyle Intervention, Education and Agriculture? This Onboard
is devoted to the essential trinity of programs for reversing the epidemic of diabetes in the Marshall Islands. We hope you will read and appreciate it.
Click here to read it online.
March 3, 2011
Canvasback Inspired Song
Chris Howell, the Chairman of our Youth Committee, was inspired to write What He Has Done after reading Isaiah 65, the theme of our newsletter. God’s promise to answer our prayers even before we call upon Him was so evident on the Canvasback Extreme Youth project in Yap that Chris wanted to share this song with you.
Click here to Download
December 17, 2010
Three articles and a front page picture
Want to hear some good news, how about 3 articles in the same newspaper? Well on Friday, November 12, 2010 that is what happened. There were 3 different articles in The Marshall Island Journal about the work that Canvasback is doing in the Marshall Islands as well as a picture in the center of the front page. It is so nice to read that Canvasback is making a difference that can be seen and reported on. Well enough from me, I am just a web master and nerd. You will just have to read for yourself what others have to say.
So we have provided a copy of the pages that include the 3 articles in the linked Adobe PDF file along with the related picture on front page.
Click here to read
Net and DB admin for Canvasback Missions
September 30, 2010
BEFORE YOU CALL, I WILL ANSWER
‘Jacque, there’s been a terrible accident!’
Pohnpei is a tiny tropical island about 5000 miles west of mainland USA. This island is one of the places in the North Pacific where Canvasback Missions gives medical services, almost every year. On the trip planned for Sept. 3-18, 2010, no one could have guessed that such a lesson in God’s providence awaited all of us, especially for a couple of young ladies volunteering as student missionary teachers.
Let Jacque tell the story: "We went to the hospital to unpack our supplies and equipment. As soon as we got there, a lady from the SDA school rushed up to me, 'Jacque, there's been a terrible accident! The SMs (volunteer student missionary teachers) were going to the waterfall in the back of the pickup truck. The side rail opened and three of the girls fell out. One of them is in the emergency room. We need your help!'
I went to the emergency room to see a very scared young lady with a brace around her neck, severe lacerations on her forehead, and abrasions all over her body. The island doctor had hastily stitched her forehead with heavy suture that was bound to leave scars and a lot of track marks. The wound had not been adequately irrigated.
I immediately went to get our Canvasback ENT surgeons. One of them, thanks to God’s all-knowing guiding hand, was an experienced facial plastic surgeon! Dr. John Kim got right to work. First he flushed out the dirt in her wounds. And then he patiently and carefully stitched up the lacerations. It took about an hour and a half.
Then we went back to the hotel. Just as we were about to leave to tour the island, the school principal called. There was another girl that had fallen out of the truck. She had been taken to the private clinic and released. Would we please look at her too?
We went back to the hospital—This girl’s injuries weren't as extensive, but the suturing job wasn't up to our standards. So, Dr. Kim spent another hour cleaning out the wounds of the second teacher and re-suturing her face.
Think about how amazing this all was! We couldn’t have known and planned in advance how much a specialist like Dr. Kim would be needed on the remote island of Pohnpei when this emergency arose. But God knew! He is so good! He has an answer even before we know we have a need!" We thank Him and praise Him, as I’m sure the young teachers are also doing.
June 21, 2010
Thanks to Alcon from Dr. Charles Ahn
I recently had the privilege of participating in a medical mission trip as an ophthalmologist to the island of Ebeye on the Marshall Islands. Most ophthalmology medical mission trips involve cataract (a clouding of the eye's lens resulting in impaired vision) surgery, using a manual or extracapsular technique, (an older surgical technique involving an incision about 3/8") as opposed to the United States where almost all cataract surgery is performed with ultrasound* utilizing a phacoemulsification machine. ("Phaco"--a system that uses only a small incision on the side of the cornea, then an inserted probe emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the clouded lens. After removing the old lens by suction, an artificial lens or "IOL", is permanently placed in the eye.) This technique and technology is usually not available in third world countries due to the significant costs involved.
However, we were blessed to be able to perform cataract surgery with phacoemulsification due to the generous donation of Alcon to Canvasback Missions of a phacoemulsification machine, accessories, and supplies. The machine we used was the 'Laureate', which is Alcon’s compact version of their 'Infiniti' machine sold in the United States. The 'Laureate' is only available in the international market. Despite its compact size, its performance demonstrated tremendous power, efficiency, chamber stability and safety. Our team was able to perform 192 eye surgeries, of which half were done on the 'Laureate' platform. Many of the cataracts were very dense and mature, yet the surgeries were performed with great efficiency and the outcomes were outstanding.
It was a real pleasure working with Kevin Creed and his staff. Alcon has donated the 'Laureate' machine, several hand pieces and enough kits to provide more than 100 surgeries.
Our team was grateful for the privilege of partnering together with Alcon and for their commitment in helping us to restore the precious gift of sight to so many people on the island of Ebeye.
Dr. Charles Ahn
*Ultrasound - High frequency sound waves used during cataract surgery to break up the eye's natural lens so that it can be easily removed.
June 17, 2010
Thanks to Lions Northwest Eyeglass Recycling Center
Canvasback Missions is very privileged to be able to share the donations of many philanthropic organizations with the people of Micronesia. One generous donation which was received this year was a collection of eyeglasses provided by Northwest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center.
Thanks to their ongoing and generous work, we were able to provide 393 pairs of eyeglasses to the people of Ebeye in January, 2010. More recently the people of Chuuk were also recipients of donated eyeglasses, where another team of ophthalmologists and their assistants went to perform cataract surgery, treat eye disease and distribute eyeglasses. This time the Placerville Lions Club donated the eyeglasses.
May 25, 2010
Thanks to Alcon from Dr. Jeff Ing
I have used a lot of phaco (Phacoemulsfication) machines* over the last fifteen years--most of the machines have been made by Alcon. The current Alcon model at our surgery center is the 'Infiniti' with the latest fluidics package and the OZil torsional handpiece.** (OZil is the trademarked brand name for Alcon's torsional handpiece.) When I went on our trip to Pohnpei, we were privileged to try a new machine which Alcon donated to Canvasback. The ‘Laureate’ is a machine that is used in Europe and internationally. Because it does not carry the OZil feature (rotational ultrasound), at first I was skeptical as to whether it would perform on extremely dense cataracts. However, after performing surgery on 30+ cases including some very dense cataracts, I was very impressed with this machine’s capabilities. It has excellent fluidics and great cutting power. The corneas were amazingly clear on post-op day one, and there were no cases of wound burn.
It was a real pleasure working with Kevin Creed and his staff. Alcon has donated the ‘Laureate’ machine several hand pieces and enough kits to provide more than 100 surgeries. We thank Alcon for their commitment to helping mission endeavors like our trip to help the people of Pohnpei.
* Phaco machine = Machine used in removal of cataracts of the eye.
**Torsional = A type of ultrasound used with the OZil handpiece that reduces repulsion, improves followability and improves thermal safety.
May 20, 2010
Dr. Charles Ahn Shares His Experience on Ebeye
Dr. Charles Ahn of Chicago area returned from a January, 2010 trip to the isolated island of Ebeye in the Marshall Islands excited to share his experience with DuPage Medical Group. As an experienced ophthalmologist, he was delighted to be able to use his skills in an area of the world that normally does not have the privilege of cataract removal in a timely manner. "The patients didn't have much and were so grateful for the care they received. It was truly a privilege to be able to provide the care that we did for the people of Ebeye." Dr. Ahn states.
Read his story by clicking on this link.
Paradise Lost or Regained?
Article in Alumni Magazine, Winter 2010 by Teresa Pitman
About Brenda Davis work at DWC
The amazing success of the Diabetes Wellness Center in Majuro, the capital of The Marshall Islands headed by Denis Yates and begun by Canvasback in 2006, is lauded in an article about Brenda Davis RD. She has testified to the improvement in islanders’ health by making the changes advocated at the Center. Healing comes to the people who consistently change to a new diet mainly of plant-based foods, and take part in an exercise program. Both of these principals are taught at the Center.
You will want to click on this link to read the entire article.
May 6, 2010
IMPRESSIONS OF RETURNING CANVASBACK CAREGIVERS
EBEYE and YAP, 2010
When our volunteers return from a mission trip, they fill out an evaluation, so that their experience can help us improve the ongoing ministry of Canvasback. Here are some of the comments voiced by the members of our ophthalmology/orthopedic team who served on Ebeye in February, 2010 and our orthopedic/youth team that served on Yap in March, 2010. They share how serving others have impacted their lives. The medical and youth mission trips were full of wonderful blessings and life-changing experiences. The following statements are just examples of some of their impressions:
Debbie Gundlach, RN: “Going on missions is an experience that regenerates my heart and my nursing career. It is a rewarding experience to step out of the box of medicine that has become so politically driven in the U.S. and just treat patients with care and love. The blessings I came home with were abundant.”
Doug Stowers, student: “... hearing my friends share their love for Jesus”
David Baker, Zimmer representative: “I realized how much I have and how little others do, yet they are happy in life and do well with their surroundings.”
Chris Howell, Chairman Youth Committee: “It [this mission to Yap] has grown me spiritually as I witnessed miracles through answered prayers.”
Alex Archibald, OD: “The mission has given a renewed perspective on how blessed I am. …some of our patients got together to sing and say thank you. I felt the spirit of Christ very strongly during that ceremony which has made a lasting impression on me.”
Shawn Apperson, RN: “I think I returned home with greater compassion for people and a greater appreciation for all that we have—medical care, healthy food, clean water etc. Jesus is Lord of the whole earth and each person is precious to Him. He can accomplish anything He wants but chooses to use us (as imperfect as we are) to be His hands and His feet. I Love Jesus More!”
Kevin Gustafson , engineer: “Nothing compares to looking into the eyes of good people who need help and at the very least being part of a group of people who can help them in some way. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Julia Gustafson, PA: “This mission has changed me in a positive way. I felt a lot closer to God and felt joy and humbleness in doing His work. I was so happy to be able to contribute.”
Kay Henderson, MD: “I appreciated times of morning worship with the team. I was refreshed and renewed to be of service in a totally different part of the world. . . I was privileged also to go to four small clinics located in the villages, and this was really incredible. I saw many children with very serious illnesses - rheumatic fever, congenital heart disease, malnutrition, developmentally delayed children and severe injuries. I was able to help with recommendations for definitive care and medication adjustments.”
Iris Chung, MD: “The highlight was the fact we were able to do 192 cases and also the genuine thank you's from the people . . . I really enjoyed the early morning devotions.”
Linda Wat -Jacobson, MD: “This trip was different from my 6 other medical trips because we had daily worship and the successes of our trips were due to turning everything over to God. It was not my hands but God’s hands who performed the every day miracles and made sure the equipment was always working when needed.”
April 27, 2010
Recent Articles from the Marshall Islands
The newspapers in the Marshall Islands have published articles about Canvasback’s recent visits to Ebeye. It would be of great interest for those who follow the work of Canvasback Missions in Micronesia. Here are the links to those articles:
The Kwajalein Hourglass, February 13, 2010: “Mercies & Miracles” Canvasback medical teams mend bones, eyes and spirits on Ebeye” pages 6, 7, 8, 9, 13—
The Marshall Island Journal, February 19, 2010: “Ebeye eye opener!” (front page) and “Getting new sight, knees from surgeries” page 18: www.marshallislandsjournal.com
Coming soon will be reports of the visits to the islands in 2010. Exciting things have been happening!