We all sleep quickly with the knowledge that our morning bus once again departs at 6:30 for the second day of surgeries. Carolyn conducts the days briefing followed by a health check by Bryan. It is fascinating how quickly we can replace our regular routines of home with new ones and after a few short days our Cebu City routine has definitely been established. Today is particularly exciting, as the first of our patients will be discharged. Incredibly just 24 hours after surgery most of our children will be ready to head home with the remaining of the patients from day one being discharged within 48 hours, lives changed.

Meet one of one of our young patients who will be heading home today.


Jude Baoc is 6 1/2 years old- pictured here when he arrived on clinic day. He has made the trip with his dad from Kampingganon, Bantayan Island approximately 6 hours from Cebu City. The father is a serious man with a worried face that has touched all our hearts. Each of us who have had the opportunity to watch them together have remarked at the tender and gentle way he cares for and handles his son. They are a team this young man with his young boy and it goes without question that dad takes his responsibility very seriously.


Most of the time dad’s face is haunting an indefinable sadness mixed with concern however it is impossible for him not to smile as he carries Jude out of the recovery room and accompanies him back upstairs to the ward.


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Finally a story that started years ago for this family and continued until last week when, with the assistance of a local foundation known as Abounding Love, Jude was provided the opportunity to attend this years Rotaplast Clinic and have the surgery required to change his life. Today he heads home with his dad to a world of new possibilities his father far more aware of the importance of this surgery then Jude will likely ever be.

Day two for our team did come with a few twists and turns and the day did not run quite as smoothly as it did the day before.


Our “sterilizer” Tom Matthews had a mid morning malfunction with the Autoclave (the machine that sterilizes all of the surgical instruments), which caused fairly significant worry by all parties concerned. Thankfully one of the hospital maintenance personnel was able to find a switch in a hospital freezer and was able to fix the machine. While relieved to have the Autoclave up and running quickly we can’t help but be a bit curious about the current status of the freezer.


Lisa Hale “ward coordinator” found herself with her hands full first thing in the morning and a trend that would continue all day. The ward as planned had twelve surgical patients and families recovering from the previous day and awaiting discharge. On the other side of the ward were the twelve families and patients with surgeries pending for today. Realistically that was the number the ward was prepared for and there was ample room for all concerned. That was until friends and relatives began to visit the surgical patients from yesterday. Naturally the family members and friends were very anxious and more than a little excited to visit the children and provide support to the parents, but it definitely resulted in Lisa having to exercise some of her benevolent dictator qualities.

In the operating area there were a variety of different challenges today with a few of the surgeries going longer than anticipated and the last team not returning back to the hotel until well after 10 p.m. The most important news of the day however is that there have been another twelve successful surgeries and another twelve families realizing a dream. No one left behind on this day …all babies, children, moms and dads, doctors, nurses, and all of the support team “bone” tired and sleeping soundly.

FOCUS OF THE DAY OUR “ANESTHESIOLOGISTS” Meet the hard working team always behind the scene making sure our young patients go safely to sleep, stay soundly asleep and wake up gently.


Dan Ramos pictured here with Evelyn Abad and a young patient – Carlos

Dr. Danilo Ramos joins us from West Sacramento, California. He is the Lead Anesthesiologist on this his 4th Rotaplast mission.


Helen O’Keefe working hard and trying to avoid the camera

Dr. Helen O’Keeffe joins us from Walnut Creek, California. This is Helen’s 23rd mission with Rotaplast.


Steve Lin always ready to smile:)

Dr. Steven Lin hails from Minot, North Dakota. This mission to the Philippines is his 5th mission with Rotaplast.