The Rotaplast team has had numerous great successful procedures in six busy days in Siyang, China.

Along with our hosts from the Siyang County Hospital, we have repaired lips and palates, and brought happiness to many other patients with surgical needs that could be safely and effectively cared for by the physicians, dentists, nurses and team members who have traveled here.


We met patients like Shu Ping Zhao, age 21. She waited many years for her cleft lip repair. We also met loving little ones like Shi Qin Yan, Xiao Shuo Feng, and Lan Nu Lu. Lan Nu (a little girl) was probably the most perky little lady of the day.

Before and after pictures of the cleft lip surgies are the most vivid examples of the changes that a Rotaplast team will bring. Mothers and grandmothers smile. Even in China, stoic men can be heard to utter a quiet "shay shay" (thank you) when Gretchen and Dave deliver a patient out of post op and back to the pediatric ward.

We feel quite fortunate that word of our team's work has spread throughout Siyang. We screened approximately 35 patients when we arrived late last week. Since then we have screened about the same number of children and teens. The favorite thing for any of us to hear the past few days has been Louise Capozzi, Medical Records, saying, "We've got another walk in."

All of us on the team will be beside you soon enough, looking back at the history of the trip portrayed on this blog. We hope it will reflect on the warmth of the Chinese people. We have all worked very well together. It has been a great honor to be invited to Nanjing and Siyang.

The young Chinese physicians and nurses that worked with our medical team are well trained and hard working according to our Dr. Don LaRossa and all the other medical volunteers who served with them these past few days.

Rotaplast trips create as many memories for team members as they do for the families we are able to help.

We represent the United States, Canada, Holland and Uruguay. Some of us only learned how to say hello "nee-HA" and thank you "shay shay". However, we all learned that the Chinese people are very warm and grateful for the help they receive. They are also fascinated by westerners. They come up to us in the hospital, hotel and even on the street just to say "hello".

It has been a wonderful experience and one thing we perhaps don't even need to translate is "shay shay" to the Chinese people. This trip has changed our lives forever.