In celebrating lustrum XIII of the Medical Faculty, Gadjah Mada University, the ‘83 alumni are holding a mass operation for 124 patients for 100 hours non-stop at the Regional Public Hospital of Yogyakarta. Starting on Tuesday (3/11/2011) at 10.00 WIST until Saturday (3/12/2011) at 14.00 WIST, the event will be recorded by Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) as the longest mass operation.
“This is a great momentum [that] shows a concrete action of service from everyone involved,” Haryadi Suyuti, the deputy mayor of Yogyakarta, said in the opening ceremony. In her opinion, the event is different from the common reunion format in which people come together only to have fun and brag about their successes to each other.
About 227 medics will deal with over 20 kinds of diseases in patients of different ages, starting from a four months old baby to a 73 years old man. These patients come from poor families and are all freed from any operation charges, including the treatment.
“All costs are covered by donation from many people. The doctors will not get paid and in fact, they will donate various medical facilities and infrastructures,” explained dr. Gideon Hartono, General Director of Hi-Lab Diagnostic Centre who acts as vice president of the event committee.
The first operation performed on Rini Astuti (28) who got the top priority. Rini underwent a caesarean for her twin babies as they were in a diagonal position. “To help decrease the mortality rate of infants, this high-risk pregnancy must come first,” said dr. Hasto Wardoyo, the obstetrician who handled Rini’s caesarean.
Rini’s husband, Darsono (32), kept on praying while watching the caesarean for his first children on a television outside the operating room of the hospital. “I did feel desperate when they said that my wife would not be able to deliver the babies through normal labor. Without this help, I did not know where I could get the money,” he said while holding tears.
Darsono is a worker in a glove factory. With his modest earning, he would not afford Rp 8 million for the operation. Rini’s mother, Siti Khodijah, works as a domestic help and neither she could do much, especially after the death of her husband in July 2010.
Everyone cried as the first baby was taken out of Rini’s womb safely. A minute later, the second came out. The process went on for only about 20 minutes. The first baby was 2250 grams in weight and 43 cm long while the second was 2450 grams and 44 cm.
Rini’s husband and mother had prepared names for the twin, Hasan Abdurrahman and Husein Abdurrahim. When asked why they chose those names, Darsono answered with a happy smile, “It is only because Allah’s blessing and mercy our children can appear in this world.”
For normal babies, Rini’s children were so little and thus need special post-operation care. The babies were laid in an incubator and given early initiation of breastfeeding. “We will wait until the babies can take milk from their mother’s breast, not formula milk,” said dr. Ratni Indrawanti, the pediatrician who took care of Rini’s babies.
In the event of mass operation, the most difficult one is ovary tumor (myoma uteri). According to dr. Agus Santoso Budi, the committee president, the process could take 4 hours. “It is technically difficult, the womb must be taken out too as the tumor is inside the uterus. We will have four doctors and four nurses in this operation,” he said.
Another patient that needs special treatment is Adinda Rahma Paramita, a one-and-a-half year old baby who suffers from labiopalatochizis, i.e. split palate. The operation will be performed on Wednesday (3/9/2011) by dr. Agus himself as plastic surgeon.
Dinda was born with harelip, making her difficult to suckle her mom’s breast and frequently choke when drinking from a bottle. Since a week after her birth, Dinda has been registered in Sardjito Hospital Yogyakarta as a solicitor for operation help. “The hospital never called us and every time we came there we were asked to wait,” said Tugiyo (36), Dinda’s father.
Until about a month ago, Tugiyo saw a poster of the mass operation event at Jetis Hospital. Assisted by the hospital, he could easily sign up for the operation. “Alhamdulillah, the process was easy. Thanks to UGM, my daughter would look like a normal child after this,” added Tugiyo, holding his sole daughter in his arms.
Tugiyo and wife are one of many poor families in Indonesia. Their earnings from farming in Kulon Progo were not more than enough to support their small families. We cannot deny that there are still many impoverished people that have not been reached by government health programs. As dr. Gideon said, “It is our duty (as doctors, red) to help out those neglected.”