Among the 10 doctors on the Tacna team are two who grew up together in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (near Mumbai), India. Falguni Patel, anesthesiologist, and Divya Joshi, pediatrician, have been friends for 30 years. They met in their first year of high school, rode bikes together, and studied for their medical school admission tests together. Falguni was the captain of the school basketball team and Divya was the team’s best player.
When Falguni moved to the States in 1991, she encouraged Divya to come and sponsored her in 1995. Both are married to doctors, both have children and both are on their first Rotaplast missions. Falguni and her family live in Sugar Land (near Houston), Texas. Divya lives with her family outside Atlanta, Georgia. Both are making friends and winning hearts in Tacna.
Dr. Rod Simonds, plastic surgeon from San Francisco, and Medical Director, Dr. Frank Walchak, performed surgery on calm, quiet, 7-month old Abigal to separate her fingers that were fused at birth. Dr. Angelo Capozzi one of Rotaplast’s, co-founders, said that Dr. Simonds was a resident under him at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco. Dr. Capozzi brought Dr. Simonds on his first international mission to Argentina.
Alison James, our patient transport volunteer, said that Abigal didn’t cry one bit. The nurses on the ward also commented that she was the one of their gentlest babies all week
Six-year old Yennifer came into the clinic engaging us with her coy smile. When the time came to take her patient photograph, she was a reluctant to remove her hat.
Yennifer was burned by hot oil from the stove when she was 18 months old, leaving a huge scar on the back of her scalp. Dr. Farnworth removed the scar tissue and performed a skin graft.
Always learning, always researching, Dr. Gaby Doumit, Rotaplast Surgeon and Dr. Hugo Sanchez take a rare moment, to escape to quiet of the computer room to share surgical techniques.