Day 3 in New Delhi, India

Today was Rotaplast on steroids. We arrived at the hospital by 6:45 AM. When the last child was “gurneyed” from the recovery room to the ward, it was 9:00 PM before many of us returned to the Ginger Hotel.

With the arrival at 4:15 AM of our Mission Director Randall Floyd, our team was finally complete. True to form, he immediately went to the ward.

Mission Director Randy meeting the children and their parents. IMG_6127

This morning we screened 15 new potential patients and by days end operated on eight. Typical of any hospital setting, the day began with rounds in the ward.

Surgeons Ron Gemberling, Devi Tantri, and Gagan Sabharwal consider the success of their surgeries during morning rounds. IMG_6123
Paul Quintavalla, Transport, and Dennis Bourassa, Ward Coordinator, discussing the day’s transport schedule. IMG_6141
Paul Quintavalla entertains Kanishka with Woofer. IMG_6139
Our new admits once again tugged at our hearts. Their parents desperately hoped that the skillful hands of our surgeons and the medical staff would transform the lives of their children.

Naman, a bubbly, happy little boy. IMG_6187
Wide-eyed, endearing Teena. IMG_6198
Radha with her intense brown-eyed stare. IMG_6201
Rahul with his hopeful yet fearful mother. IMG_6220
All clients were carefully evaluated by our medical staff.

Lead Anesthesiologist Fred Mihm screens Rahul for surgery.
Dr. Devi examines a burn scar on Vridhi which the team will repair. IMG_6210-001
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Nan Madden discusses options with Harmeet’s parents with the  assistance of hospital staff Dr. Aditi Singh (foreground) and Dr. Sonam Malik (back right.) IMG_6244
In the afternoon Rotary Club President Bhuvnesh (aka Gaurav) Ahuja prepared a press conference in recognition of this first Rotaplast mission to Delhi. Reporters representing 20 different local newspapers were in attendance. Scattered among the audience of over 150 attendees were the 45 members of the Rotary Club of Delhi Vasant Valley who performed the groundwork to set this mission into motion.

The event was honored with the presence of Rotary District 3010 Governor Vinod Bansal who expressed his deep appreciation for the club initiating this major humanitarian service project. After which he personally thanked each Rotaplast team member in attendance.

Local Rotarians posing with Rotary District 3010 Governor Vinod Bansal (center) and
Rotarian Dr. Rakesh Gupta (front right) owner of the Sarvodaya Hospital. IMG_6251
Mission Director Randall Floyd addressing the attendees at the press conference. IMG_6277
Medical Director Ron Gemberling sharing photos of cleft lip repair to Rotary District  Governor Vinod Bansal and inviting him to observe cleft surgery in the operating room. IMG_6262

As she approached the registration desk, Radha (not her real name) immediately captured our hearts. A tall 15 year old girl, self-possessed, traditional Kaajal makeup highlighting her brown eyes, she looked like a young Indian princess until you noticed her nose. Her caregiver stood by her and helped with the responses to our standard registration questions. Radha smiled at us through a scarred lip that had obviously had been repaired when she was much younger. The caregiver indicated that Radha had her cleft lip and palate repaired when she was a young girl, but during the process the doctors had obviously not resolved the accompanying congenital defect of her nose. IMG_6180.1
Then we heard full the story. As a young child she was abandoned by her parents because of her cleft lip deformity. To survive she resorted to dancing in local trains for tips from sympathetic strangers. At six years old she was arrested by the police for illegal begging. When no one came to her rescue, she was sent to the Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre. There she had food, a warm place to sleep and schooling, but was ignored by the other girls. Her caregiver became her new compassionate “mother” and made arrangements for her cleft lip and palate repair, but her nose was still left severely misshapen. Waiting for “godly” hands so she could face the world like any other young girl, she and her caregiver heard about our Rotaplast mission through notifications sent to all the NGOs by Rotary Club President Gaurav.

Immediately upon examination, our surgeons believed that through rhinoplasty they could reconstruct her nose by transplanting cartilage in the septum area and reshaping its str ucture.

After over three hours of surgery, Radha was finally brought into the PACU by OR Nurse Victoria Slama. IMG_6288
Radha being lifted into bed by nurses Cynthia Ideker and Victoria Slama, assisted by Mission Director Randy. IMG_6290
Radha recovered quickly, and the next day all of us wished her farewell. Her dreams now are far removed from dancing for handouts on trains. A top student in the 10 Standard, she hopes one day to become an astronaut thanks to our “godly” hands.

Radha with her caregiver. IMG_6487
Radha thanking us upon leaving the hospital. IMG_6483