District 5020 Rotarian, Marnee Obendorf of Olympia, WA amuses our youngest patient of the day with a soft toy made by generous friends of Rotaplast in the US; he is in the caring arms of one of the Cebu nurses, who readily volunteers with the Rotaplast team.

Early afternoon, a message reached the OR that because of an electrical insufficiency in Cebu, a brownout was imminent. This would mean that some of the cases would have to be postponed. However, someone with influence spoke words of magic to the right people and the power outage was averted.

Dr. Jann and Dr. Angelo operated on a young girl who had been brought in by a good Samaritan neighbour who had found her fending for herself on the street. Her bottom lip and much of her chin area tissue was missing due to a condition called NOMA, a gangrenous flesh-eating disease which can lead to the destruction of an infected person’s face. Angie had been living with this disfiguring condition since an early age, and had never been to school. Dr. Jann and Dr. Angelo generously allowed me to photograph the procedure, which, because of the difficulty of giving a general anaesthetic, was done under local anaesthesia only. Above, Evelyn Abad, the Mission Director, held Angie’s  hand throughout the operation, constantly soothing her in her native language, telling her what a wonderful patient she was for being so brave and staying so still while doctors Johnson and Capozzi, with exquisite dexterity, transformed  this little girl’s face.

Below, anesthetist Doctor Mike Messina, and plastic surgeons Drs. Johnson and Capozzi confer during the operation. She has a long way to go, but this first step will hopefully result in a huge change for Angie’s future.