Today was about four-year-old Tian Rui and twelve other children who received life changing surgery because of the partnership between Rotary and Rotaplast and the commitment of the medical and non medical volunteers. Most importantly Tian received his surgery today because of the people who care and donated to Rotaplast and attended the fundraising events organized by the Rotary Club of Vancouver Chinatown and Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset (D5040).
Tian had his lip repaired surgically and received dental work. He walked into the operating room without a tear but clearly frightened. He was wheeled out clutching the teddy bear that was given to him after surgery and covered with a colourful blanket that he was also given as a gift. He held back his tears until he saw his mother.
The first day of surgery on a Rotaplast mission is hectic and at times confusing. Fewer surgeries are scheduled the first day to allow the teams to get to know each other and permit the hospital staff to explain local procedures.
Each parent had to sign consent to surgery form as required by the Chengde Hospital. The form is not treated as trivial or unimportant by the hospital staff. The form was careful explained and the type of surgery their child would receive is described. After signing the form the parent placed their mark by placing a fingerprint in red ink over their signature.
An exhausted Rotaplast team returned to the hotel knowing that the lives of children they will never see again have been profoundly changed. The start of a week of sharing and teaching with the medical staff of Chengde Hospital has also started. The learning and teaching is clearly two way, for the Chengde medical staff and for the Rotaplast team.