Now Surgery Begins…
As I write this it is after midnight and I finally have time to look back on the day & what a day it was! Those boxes that were lovingly packed, paid many extra dollars to bring, included medical equipment as well as quilts made for the patients by hundreds of US women. Everything was unpacked and 3 surgical bed areas arranged for the first surgeries of the day. The medical equipment helps the doctors and nurses perform their miracles while the quilts keep the babies warm as they recover. These hand made quilts leave the hospital with the child. They are yet another treasured gift from Rotaplast along with their new smile.
This Rotaplast team expanded & became a much larger, more effective team by working closely with the local doctors. Below our two pediatricians consult with a local Venezuelan dentist and orthodontist through our “Interpreter Sallie”.
Our Rotaplast plastic surgeon “Dr. Sandy” talks with another dentist regarding another patient while our interpreter uses all her skills…..and her nose…. to help with the explanation.
Genetics are only one of the factors in the story of the cleft lip and palate, but when one sees a grouping such as the one below with the Grandmother, her granddaughter, and her great-grandson, all with correction via Rotaplast teams, it really makes one remember genetics as one of the contributors to cleft lips and palates. There is apparently another family relative grateful to the Rotaplast team. This little boy had a cleft lip repair and he went home tonight before some of the Rotaplast team. Others who have surgery will be in the hospital for longer, will return for a bit more work and then seen yet again by the Rotaplast team on clinic day, the day before we leave.
I already know, as this is being written, some of us will leave with smiles, new friends and tears. We are all happy to know that our patients will be leaving with new smiles and friends as well.