As in so many other Rotaplast missions, it's the mothers who bear the burden of bringing their chidlren to the clinic to be evaluated to determine if they are a candidate for reconstructive surgical procedures; many times travelling six to eight hours; not knowing if they will be able to get their young child approved for surgery. Often the fathers of this very rural region are working and are unable to get the time away to assist.

Every Rotaplast volunteer has witnessed the anguished look of the mother holding her loved one, waiting in the clinic, at the pre-operation routine, and the anxious hours of surgery and recovery. Often they spend the night with their child in a recovery ward, usually sleeping in a chair, awaiting the next morning's pre-discharge evaluation. Nothing is more moving than watching the mother hand off her child to the head nurse or physician for surgery and nothing more heart warming than the smile she radiates that greets her child in recovery and her reaction to the doctors' approval for discharge.

In the cleft lip and palate procedures, the mothers know that this is only the first of many ordeals they will be facing as the child matures. However the correction of the stigma of such a birth defect has given the family new hope as they face many more hours of corrective and psychlogical follow-ups.

Here are some mothers of Hildago that we met this week.

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