Percy Jesus came to us on clinic day with a burn scar on his neck. He had traveled with his family from the mountain city of Ariquipa, 8 hours from Tacna. His surgery was initially scheduled for the next day. Because of scheduling problems, we changed his surgery date to the following week, thinking the family lived in Tacna. Our communication was a bit flawed, obviously.
Fortunately, someone realized they were returning to Ariquipa, not Tacna, and we caught them just as they were leaving the building. It was arranged for the family to stay at the home of the Tacna Rotary president in preparation for Percy Jesus’ surgery 3 days later. The surgeons would revise the burn scar to release contraction and increase mobility in his neck. The surgery was performed by Rotaplast Surgeon, Dr. Rod Simonds, and Tacna Surgeon, Dr. Santos Condori.
Noemi Princesa’s middle name Princess fits her perfectly. Two years ago this beautiful dark-eyed pre-schooler knocked a boiling pot of water off the top of the stove in her kitchen. The accident left her with a 5″ scar on the side and back of her right leg.
Her parents made sure they understood how her surgeon, our mission Medical Director Dr. Frank Walchak, was going to remove the huge keloid scar from her small leg. They wanted to know where the cuts would be, whether there’d be a skin graft (there wouldn’t be), and what the healing process would entail. Her father asked questions until he felt he had the full picture. Bravo for being a proactive parent. And bravo for our mission interpreter.
After the operation, Noemi’s father told us that his active, extroverted daughter loves to play at the park and draw pictures at home, but has always insisted on wearing pants so no one can see her “ugly place” – her keloid. She knew the day would come that she would have to wear a skirt when she’s old enough to go to school. And now Noemi Princesa can show her legs!
Jose Alfredo wanted Dr. Frank Walchak, group Medical Director and plastic surgeon, to know how much he appreciated his working on Peru’s Day of Work,their labor day. So he made him a colorful drawing in the post-op ward. Dr. Frank says the drawing will grace his refrigerator as soon as he gets home.
Jose Alfredo had three operations on his palate and lip prior to coming to our mission. Dr. Frank lengthened his columella (the strip between our nostrils).
Jose loves to play soccer and basketball, but he also loves to read, study (his favorite subject is math) and draw. His 17-year old sister has taught him to dance, and he likes to dance at home, alone or preferably with her. When asked what else he is interested in, he said he wanted to work and is planning to be a civil engineer. So here in Tacna we found our future renaissance man; an artist/dancer/athlete/student/engineer-to-be.