We are now on surgical day number six and it does not escape anyone that we are quickly coming to the end of a very special Rotaplast mission. For every single person on this mission there are different life experiences that have driven us to be here and among us there are equally wide varieties of expectations.  Some are here to find out who they are while others are looking for meaning or purpose in their life and all wish to help others, make a difference and leave their footprint. Perhaps it’s these things which cause the heightened emotions of this day, however there is also the fact that this day marks the 1st anniversary of the earthquake in Cebu; a quake that some of this current team was present for last year and this may also play a role in the emotions.  PA150146Today one of the little girls that steals our hearts is Cazaira. None among us are not charmed by her constant little smile  and waves. Thanks to Victoria, Cazaira has been given a set of   butterfly wings which she proudly wears until surgery. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes “if nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies”  as we watch her prance around with her wings, waiting for  surgery that will change her little smile.

PA160607 Throughout the trip Carolyn has referred to something she terms ‘that moment’ and today many of us  are starting to understand what she means. All of the children and families are special but there comes “that moment”,  when a specific child, parent or both touch our hearts in a way that is completely unexpected.  It may happen on the ward, in recovery, the operating room or pre-op but when it happens you connect with that individuals’ life and story at a much deeper level, often moving many of us to tears. Cazaira and her mom are one of the many that cause “that moment”  to happen as we experience the magic of our surgeons work in fulfilling our little butterflies dreams.

Where there are babies and children there are pediatricians and we have two of the best; Dr. Bryan Stamm, lead pediatrician from Spokane, Washington and Dr. Mary Vader from Mount Rose, Colorado. These two doctors spend their days running from the PACU to the Ward and back again.  Their responsibility starts with ensuring the children are healthy enough to undergo surgery, then make sure there are no issues that need their attention in the recovery room, watch for any medical situations that may arise on the ward and finally arrange for their discharge which includes providing instructions for care.  They do all this with a great sense of humor and incredible kindness. Our parents in particular are attentive to these doctors trying earnestly to capture information from them even when they are uncertain of the exact meaning of their words. Both Mary and Bryan are able to provide the parents with a much needed calm through gestures and tone that are incredibly soothing and confident bringing the assurances that are so needed to anxious moms, dads and grandparents.


Dr Bryan Stamm – Spokane Washington
Rotaplast Mission number 10


Dr Mary Vader – Mount Rose, Colorado
Rotaplast Mission number 12