Were back! We had our day off yesterday and now we are back, rested and anxious to get to those children. On the bus at 6:10am (we have to be, otherwise Rosalie makes us walk, only kidding about the walking, we do get penalized but I won't tell you the punishment). See the pictures below and you see us on the bus leaving our armed encampment we call our sleeping quarters and arriving at the emergencia entrance to the hospital.
This is a cute 4 year old boy who just returned from surgery where he had a cleft palate repaired. See the pictures below of him with his blanket (gift from the people of Saratoga Rotary) rolled up along side him to help him while waking up. Notice the mom and dad giving him a lot of attention and the mom with the little baby in a Papoose.
Anderson Elias is 6 1/2 years old, he and his mother came from Guatemala City. He had a cleft palate repaired and when he woke up after surgery he had the biggest smile, he was so happy to see his mother, and his mom was extremely happy to see him. He has a 10 year old brother who is does not have any facial problems. Two years ago Rotaplast surgeons repaired Anderson Elias' lower lip. His mom said "A big thank you to Rotaplast from the bottom of my heart. You people of Rotaplast have the biggest heart God could have given and I hope he gives you the strength to continue this great work.
"My name is Santiago Yaxon. I am 9 years old. My father has taken me to Rotaplast to have my mouth and nose repaired. I can read and write. I have written many thank you notes to the Rotaplast doctors. They are very kind to fix my mouth and nose. I will be forever thankful."
Santiago drew two pictures, one featured above. Translation: "Thank you for helping me and my PaPa."
"I am Santiago's Yaxon's father. We walked 5 hours to get here. I am so proud of my son. He can read and write better than I can. I am so proud. During the operation, I sat on the bench outside the operation room. When Senor Dennis or Senior Ricardo walked by, I could not help but raise up on my toes. I did not stand and ask them how it goes with my son. I am so proud of him. My wife stayed home with our other 5 children. Santiago will no longer be teased at school, especially when he reads out loud. I can only smile when I think of Rotaplast."
Prado is an 18 month old with a cleft lip, now a repaired cleft lip. Below you see the happy mommy and daddy holding their little angel. Also notice the blanket the parents are holding, this is one of almost 300 beautiful blankets the Saratoga Rotary brought with them on this mission, one for every child coming through surgery. The dad told me "We don't have the words to express our appreciation for all you have done for our Prado and us. Without Rotaplast our son would have not have received this care. God will always bless you for the work you do for the poor of Guatemala. We ask God to bless you and protect you when you return home to your families.
WOW! It looks like a day off has invigorated our Retalhuleu team, I have just been told by Evelyn, our dynamic head nurse, that we completed 17, that's right, 17 surgeries (or as children's parents like to call them miracles) today.
I want you to see the following before and after photos so you can appreciate the miracles these surgical teams perform:
Patient #8 before surgery:
Patient #8 after surgery:
Patient #9 before surgery:
Patient #9 after surgery: