Back to work. By the second week even the non-medical volunteers know what a Dingman clamp or a fistula is. This afternoon Dr. Granger is going to be the surgeon for a little boy named Jia Hao. He has what is called a bilateral lip, meaning it is split in two places. A single tooth projects beyond the gap in his lips. Nan explained to his mother that the next time she saw her son he would look different, and sometimes a parent will get used to the appearance of their child with the cleft. The mother smiled and said she was looking forward to seeing him without the cleft.
One can only imagine the anxiety a mother has while she waits to see her infant after surgery. I was in the recovery room when Jia Hao was wheeled into recovery, and his mother came to see her son. Little Jia Hao had an extensive procedure to rejoin the huge gap in his lip. Mom was upset when she saw her child with all the swelling, and discoloration that accompanies this type of surgery. Mom is only 24 and this is her only child, so she may have had different expectations. Everyone tried to comfort her, but we needed to get our translator to tell her that the swelling would subside, the natural color would return.