On this mission, Rotaplast is utilizing the Nurture Centre for the Disabled and Paralyzed Hospital founded by Nasreen Baqui. More on Nasreen's generosity and the history of its founding a little later.
To accommodate three surgical tables, two tables are doubling up in one room. It can be tight at times, but it is working out just fine. The recovery room, run by nurses Susan and Paula, is accessible though a door from the OR.
Down one flight of stairs is the pre-op waiting area. The children arrive the evening before and for safety reasons may not eat or drink after midnight. When we arrive in the morning, needless to say, the children are hungry and uncomfortable.
Entertaining the children is something Marieke, the recreational/creative therapist on the team does quite well. She often has the task of accompanying the children and parents to the waiting area just before surgery which is often a stressful and worrisome moment for both the parent and child.
Marieke eases the tension with bubbles for Imtiaz and five-year-old Mohammed who is next in line for surgery.
Mohammend has both a cleft lip and palate. He came to Rotaplast last year during the 2013 Chittagong mission. At that time he was too weak to have surgery. This year is a different story. His mother was determined to make him strong enough for the surgery he so desperately needs in order to develop proper speech.
Today in post-op, Mohammend wakes up with a beautiful lip and a repaired palate that will change the trajectory of his life forever.
This is also Mohammed. He is 18 years old and has lived with his cleft lip until now. He traveled 24 hours to get here, arriving the day after opening clinic. With some shifting of the schedule, we were able to help him today.