The Rotaplast team is gratified that there is such a need for our service in this region of Egypt. “We are finding a variety of cleft lip and palate cases here in Sohag, with lots of primary lips,” says Dr. Joe Anderson. “It is good to see that the majority of cases are the little ones.” Out of the 70 cases the team has done so far, only 10 have been non cleft lip.
One non-cleft case was the very compelling story of one boy with unusually wide ears. “Hakim” had experienced much taunting by his age of 14 years. He was taunted and called “donkey ears.” His mother begged the surgeons to pin his ears back. “Psychologically, this is a very significant issue. It affects them deeply,” said Dr. Al Goldberg. For that reason alone, the surgery was a high priority and Hakim was squeezed into surgery on day two.
“Pinning back ears is a relatively straightforward but very gratifying procedure,” said Dr. Granger Wong, “and it doesn’t take long.” After the surgery, Hakim was brought into the recovery room and soon, his anxiously awaiting mother was allowed to see him. Though he was bandaged around his head, his mother was extremely happy at the sight of him. She kissed recovery room nurse Paula Fillari on the cheek several times and fell to the ground in gratitude. Through an interpreter, she said, “I had such a bad impression of Americans before… until you came and fixed my son’s ears and you gave him a blanket. Now I don’t think badly of Americans anymore. I am so happy – God is truly great.”