Saturday was scheduled as a half day. That means we started at 7:00 AM and the last child left the recovery room at 1:30 PM to move to the ward.Some of the surgeries were more complex involving dental work by our Orthodontist Ramtin Nassiri and Dentist Keenman Feng. Ramtin and Keenman in most cases are extracting teeth that will obstruct the work of the surgeons. In some cases they are doing basic dental work on children who have never seen a dentist. The day stretched out also due to some of the work taking longer than anticipated.
The change in the children is remarkable. Many have significant deformities when we first meet them. There is a notable difference when they come out of the operating room. The next day on the ward other than swelling and stitches their appearance is incredibly improved. Showing a child their photo on the back of a digital camera brings big smiles. Other than the infants they understand the change to their lives.The parents are incredibly grateful.
The sterilizer for the team is Elaine Luk. Elaine is a member of the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset and a non medical volunteer however she was previously a registered nurse. Her skills are put to good work. She must quickly clean and sterilizer the surgical instruments after each operation. Rotaplast brings their own instruments and Autoclave on the mission. Different instruments are needed for cleft lip and cleft palate operations. The time between operations is often short meaning Elaine must move on the double to get ready. She also rolls and sterilizes dressings to save money rather than buy pre-packaged dressings.