Behind the Scalpel: Luzmila Cahua

A year ago, my dad told me about Scalpel At The Cross. I thought it was an interesting organization providing a good opportunity to learn new things and improve my English, but I did not think anything beyond that. After being part of this amazing mission, I realized that God wanted to demonstrate to me that studying medicine was the best decision of my life, and more importantly, that my life was going to change forever! In October of last year, while taking a test at the university, I received a phone call from my dad. Not knowing it was going to be the “best phone call” ever, I called him back as soon as I finished. He told me I was going to travel to Minnesota, under the sponsorship of Scalpel At The Cross and hospitality of Tina Most and Dr. Peter Cole, to participate in a fellowship in Orthopaedics at Regions Hospital. As expected, I was speechless and could not say a single word, something that is unusual for me. I pinched myself to prove I was not dreaming. November and December flew by. Excited and curious for this new adventure provided by God, and wondering what He had to offer me over the next five weeks, I celebrated the New Year with my mom and my sister in the airport. I finally arrived in Minnesota on January 1, 2015, and while picking up my suitcases I heard a familiar voice say, “Luzmila!”. I turned around and could not believe it! Dr. Cole was welcoming me to Minnesota with open arms. I was really surprised because I was waiting for Tina. I met Danielle Cole who made me feel so welcome in just a few minutes! I also received a fun welcome to the US from Peter Jr. Tina was waiting outside the airport with a beautiful smile and the sweetest, most welcoming hug. After days of huge expectations, the big day finally arrived. I was at Regions Hospital! Filled with excitement and happiness, I started my adventure. Regions Hospital is not just any kind of hospital or work environment, it is a place full with the most well-qualified and kind professionals you could ever meet. I have learned invaluable lessons, living day by day alongside the doctors, attending x-ray board educational meetings and conferences at the University of Minnesota, being introduced to an orthopaedic research lab, and being exposed to the OR, clinic, patient follow-up appointments, and most importantly, working with the team of Dr. Cole and his PA, Tina Most. Dr. Cole is “the man.” Why? I admire the way he knows how to deal with almost any circumstance, and he has an awesome way of solving problems! With all his leadership responsibilities, at the end of the day he still has time for his lovely family, Nancy and Channing Cole. Tina Most is one of the most dedicated, passionate, and professional PAs you could ever work with. But living with her for five weeks taught me to cherish her as a friend and a sister. Our days were amazing! Each day was a new adventure, with Minnehaha Falls, ice skating, ice fishing, “Crashed Ice”, “Chaufa” and “Lomo saltado” experiences. We danced, cooked, worked out, played basketball, football and racquetball; and I learned new languages like German and Hmong. I also met and spent time with her family who are wonderful; her mom is one of the loveliest women I have had the opportunity to know. This year was a new experience, and I felt so blessed and thankful to God for letting me see friends I had made over the course of the last two campaigns. I also appreciated meeting so many new and unique people. Being with the medical team of Scalpel At The Cross again back in Peru made me realize that I found what I was looking for all of my life! I now know Scalpel helps patients by releasing their pain, not just physically but also in terms of their hearts and souls. Scalpel makes it possible for patients to be restored to health and to reestablish better quality of life, which gives them the opportunity to reintegrate into society with quiet self-confidence. And what does Scalpel At The Cross receive in exchange for everything? Nothing more than the smiles on patients’ faces that shows restored happiness and hope so they may live again with fewer limits and true thanksgiving. Through this experience, I have learned invaluable lessons and strengthened my relationship with God. I have begun to see that He surprises me and is revitalizing my love for medicine and patient care through Scalpel At The Cross