Paediatric heart surgery missions define an emergent, high-tech form of medical humanitarianism characterized by their focus not on populations in crisis, but on broken body parts – in this case, damaged paediatric hearts. Comprised of specialists from the world’s most elite medical centres, mission teams make visits to poor countries to perform highly specialized and otherwise prohibitively expensive surgical procedures on children with few alternatives for survival. A team’s success is measured in terms of patient volume, surgical complexity and the probability of the patient being well enough to leave the hospital within thirty days. This chapter explores the forms of bioprecarity that both precede and follow mission visits and that inadvertently affect the very patients whose surgeries are publicly billed as ‘successes’. As much as surgical missions aim to repair paediatric bodies in distress, they, too, produce new anxieties, uncertainties and biological vulnerabilities for patients and their families that are often visible only long after missions depart from the host country. These findings emerged from thirteen months of ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Honduras, where I carried out observations and interviews in public hospitals before, during, and after visits by paediatric heart surgery missions and in the homes of surgical patients.
The introduction chapter depicts a common story of thousands of Black migrants to Canada from various Caribbean islands and territories. Contact with a cricket and social club was critical for settling in Toronto’s urban and suburban neighbourhoods, finding (mainly) middle-class jobs, returning home to their nations of origin for visits, and travelling to Black plurilocal homespaces created in Canada, the Caribbean, the United States, and England. The Mavericks Cricket and Social Club (MCSC) involved sport, spectatorship, food, music, dancing, travelling, and socializing that were crucial for recreating the sense of home necessary for Black men’s survival in a city rife with interpersonal and systemic racism. The chapter outlines the ways in which cricket is an essential yet often forgotten component of Black Atlantic cultures and Canadian socio-politics The chapter describes the MCSC participants and researcher involved in this study; reviews the sociological processes of making and crossing group boundaries; and sets the context for the book by reviewing a range of literatures including the Black Atlantic and the Caribbean diaspora in Canada, studies of sporting diasporas, the narrative inquiry approach used, and the contents of the remaining book chapters.