This mission has been special in many ways, the warmth and welcoming of the Liberian people, the support from Rotarians, especially Rotaractors and also because of the diversity of surgeries. We did a number of pallet and cleft lip repairs with amazing results but I want to share the story of two patients that highlight how Rotaplast changes lives with other types of surgeries.
The first is Sawo a young girl who was born with the middle two fingers of both hands fused together. This is called syndactyly and her hands can be seen in her check-in photograph below.
And here she is post op and returning to the clinic on the final day.
What was most gratifying was when her arm was unbandaged she looked down at her hand and then broke into a big smile when she saw that her fingers could open. She had a dominant hand operated this year and hopefully, we will be able to do her other hand in 2019. This surgery is more complex than it seems and involves a lot of care and delicate dissection of tissues to preserve nerves.
The other case the same day that shows the diversity of cases was Satta, a lady who had surgery on her jaw performed by Mercy Ships 14 years ago because of a tumor. Unfortunately, one of the plates they had put in to support her lower jaw had broken and begun to protrude through the skin of her chin. Dr. Paul Faringer hunted around for some heavy duty metal cutters that could be used to cut the protruding plate so the wound could be closed, making Satta extremely happy. The picture below shows Paul using these heavy duty cutters – not a tool normally used by plastic surgeons!
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