With great joy we got down to work on Wednesday, March 18. Four cases were completed. The Chinese and Rotaplast doctors and nurses are working very well together and enjoying the experience of caring for the young children of Nanjing.
The first surgery completed was little Ciai Wang, who had a cleft palate repaired by Dr. Roland Minami.
Everyone was especially pleased to see additional patients added to the schedule for Thursday. Drs. Stan Flemming and Rene Vreuls screened the "walk-in" patients who were also examined by a member of the surgical team and then scheduled for surgery.
The team still intends to move to another hospital in Siyang Thursday after work is complete, or Friday. We will see many more patients there. The hospital is about two hours away from where we are currently working. It is also affiliated with the Nanjing Medical College.
One of the highlights of the trip has been 22 year old Juan Tong. She has a birth defect on her hand (an additional thumb). Her operation is on Thursday – but since all the patients under care are at the hospital – she has been helping translate and has become friendly with most of the Rotaplast team. She has been a delight as she has worked on her English skills.
To see Westerners is quite unusual, it appears. Everyone we meet greets us and they are happy we are here. The opportunity to work with Western trained medical professionals has also been very exciting for the local doctors and nurses.