WARREN - Wanting to thank the doctor and his staff who assisted them during their time at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, three medical students received help from the carpentry class at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in creating a surprise.
Leila Parand, a medical student at the Ross University, said she asked TCTC carpentry teacher Joshua Peachy to see if his students could create a wooden skeleton so they could create pieces of cakes to put inside as organs of the body.
The medical students in conjunction with high school students from TCTC put together a representation of a human body, mainly made out of cake and wood. The cake had parts inside resembling lungs, heart and gall bladder.
Parand said the project was to show Khoury and staff the surgical knowledge they retained in relation to the various anatomical parts of the body.
A Doctor Appreciation Day was held March 30 at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where Parand and fellow medical students Trecia Henriquez and Neil Martin surprised Dr. Ronald Khoury, a general and trauma surgeon, and his staff with the wooden skeleton.
The students come from Ross University, based out of Edison, N.J., and students do their clinical rotations in various cities throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Parand and the two others have spent three months at the hospital as part of clinical rotations.
''Dr. Khoury was really impressed by how we incorporated what we learned into an appreciation project for the operating room staff,'' she said.
She said the cake was marked with medical-related questions to the different anatomical parts that were represented as cake. For example, a gall bladder made of cake had a toothpick with a question asking what is the typical ejection fraction of the gall bladder.
The essential framework of the body was the wooden skeleton that was made by welding and carpentry students at TCTC under the guidance of Peachy and Bob Olesky's welding class. The skeleton - the TCTC students named it Gertrude - turned out to be an adventurous and creative project, they said.
Peachy said the project was challenging and complex since the wood had to be bent 90 degrees to create the shape of the rib cage. Students took four weeks to complete the project in addition to their other classwork.
The TCTC students needed to figure out the best way to build the structure, and then they had to determine how to bend the wood to make the best fitting ribs that wouldn't break. The welding students provided a platform for the shaping of the rib structures, and the carpentry students had to figure out the appropriate wood and technique to maintain the appropriate shape.
Parand said the operating staff ''were very impressed by the structure.''
Even though her organs are gone, her skeletal structure remains and will be given to either TCTC or Trumbull Memorial Hospital or the highest bidder.
"Dr. Khoury went above and beyond to make our education the best it could be, and almost everyone in the hospital went out of their way to help us in our learning process, including the patients, and we were very appreciative," Parand said.