This morning I had the opportunity to watch surgeons Dr.Ron Gemberling, Dr. Don La Rossa and Anesthesiologist Dr. Bert Drop perform surgery on a 2 year old named Josue Adonias.  Little Josue came to us with a severe cleft lip and palate.  During his two hour surgery, a miracle transformed this beautiful little guy. When I spoke with the mom and dad after his surgery, they had the biggest smiles on their faces. Every operation performed by this team in this remote area of Guatemala is a miracle on the same scale.

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Yesterday, a 22 year old man with a severe cleft lip came in to the hospital.  Soon after he arrived his mother called one of our Rotaplast volunteers and told her that her son had been suicidal and she was very concerned.  We talked with Armando and he told us that as a young boy he was never allowed out of his home, he never was allowed to attend school, and had still never had a full-time job.  He lives with his parents and does odd jobs when he can get them.  He has been ostracized for his entire life because his family and others in his community were ashamed of him.  The Rotaplast medical team quickly evaluated him and scheduled him in an open slot for surgery the same day.  The surgery was a success, and Armando was discharged late that day with a different future in front of him.

We have now completed 4 days of surgery with a total of about 60 operations. Day 4 of surgery ended with 15 more surgeries successfully completed. We are halfway there, and looking forward to the rest of our work here, and a little rest on Sunday, too.

I have been writing about all the wonderful work the surgical teams, pediatricians and nurses have done these past 5 days, so now I think I would like to tell you who they are.  We have been completing 15 surgeries per day, with most of the children being discharged the following day, and we hope to have them all back on the last day of our mission, for the post surgery clinic.

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Dr. Don LaRossa (surgeon), Dr. Bert Drop (anesthesiologist), Dolores Dougherty (OR nurse), Manuel Eseteban Ramos (Scrub nurse) and Dr. Ron Gemberling (Medical Director).
Right:  Dr. Dennis Dundas (surgeon), Dr. Joe Walia (anesthesiologist), Yipi Yang (OR nurse), Willie Pelico (Scrub nurse – not pictured), Dr. Julie Herndon (Dentist) and Dr. John Lee (Lead Anesthesiologist). 

Dr. Milton Solis (surgeon), Joel Buhyoff (CRNA), Marilyn Willis (OR nurse), Flori Pachaco (Scrub nurse), Evelyn Nombrado Abad (Head nurse and the lead task master) and Scott Wheelwright (sterilizer).

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Pediatricians Dr. Al Goldberg and Dr. Dave Rosenberg

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PACU Nurses Jacquelyn Arata and Joyce Kuhn.


I want you to see the following before and after photos so you can appreciate the miracles these surgical teams perform:

Patient #7 before surgery:


Patient #7 after surgery: