The Rotaplast team was reminded why they have left family and friends when surgery began on a warm morning at the hospital.
Asha was the first patient in surgery. (She is standing next to her mother and father in the picture below.) Her repairs were performed by a team of trained medical pros. Her lovely quilt, donated by a woman from Spokane, Washington, was as bright as her face waking up in recovery to learn, that yes, her lip had been repaired.
Throughout the next few days more and more similar stories will be videoed, and photographed to share throughout the Rotaplast community when we return.
It was been a challenging trip because of distance, extreme heat, and cultural dissimilarities between India and the Western countries represented on this trip. Yet at the same time, there is no question that the mission is the same for all involved. That mission is helping the children of Udaipur.
Seven-month-old Jyoti (above in a before photo with Dist 5060 DGN Doug Everett) may never remember her time with the Rotaplast team. The good news is she will never remember when she had an unrepaired cleft lip. Her repair was another success story of this visit.
Here was the first “Rotaplast Moment” for me on this trip. As the team was leaving the hospital, a young patient we treated was being discharged. The entire family was walking out with us. The patriarch of the family shook my hand (photojournalist Tom from Dist 5060) – even though there were surgeons next to me! Then, he said something to the patient and to her brother , and they bowed down before me and touched my shoes. This is – obviously – a sign of submission and of great respect. I was very moved by the level of contrition, honor and thankfulness they were offering.
Rotaplast teams are the happiest when they are busy at work. The week ahead will be filled with more happy smiles – from Rotarians, doctors, nurses, dentists, speech therapist, and especially from the children and families. While we miss family and friends, we are honored to be part of work community service at it’s finest.
Because of all of you - supporting, sending up good wishes and prayers, and being able to let your favorite nurse, physician, speech therapist, dentist, or Rotarian travel far far away for two weeks – some wonderful new smiles are being shared in Udaipur, India.
From the children of India, and from everyone on the team, we want to say, “thank you!” – Please also note that everyone is working and well. We had a wonderful cultural exchange program at the Udaipur Rotary Club Sunday night. Internet is a bit touch and go at our hotel. Again we are grateful the hospital for allowing us to update from their computer system!