Day Three was originally supposed to be the first day of surgery. However, the long delay in getting our medical equipment out of airport customs required the Mission Director to modify the schedule. The team took a day off and we added an additional surgery day on Sunday. With this change, our schedule is on track and we on our way to a successful mission of restoring smiles and changing live.

Day 4: Showtime!

The day begins with a 5:15 a.m. wake-up call and, after breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the hospital. The patients who have been admitted the previous night are awaiting our arrival.

After setting the equipment in the operating rooms, the members of the medical team meet to review their procedures and protocols.

Head Nurse Carol Hagen, John Davis, Sterilizer, and Carmen Sigler, PACU Assistant and Translator, review the instrument sterilization procedures.

Brandon, our first surgery patient, is brought into the operating room wrapped in a beautiful handmade quilt made by the quilters of Wrap-A-Smile. Thanks to their generosity, every child undergoing surgery gets a quilt to take home.

Each of the three operating rooms is a beehive of activity all day long.

Surgeon Andrew Huang, CNRA David Rowen, and a local OR nurse are hard at work performing an operation.

Lead Anesthesiologist Tim Conahan, prepares for his next operation. Dr. Conahan, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is on his 9th medical mission.

After surgery, the nurses and pediatricians carefully monitor a young patient as he recovers from anesthesia in the PACU.

Pediatrician Joe Herbert monitors a patient’s recovery.

A mother sits patiently by her young son during his recovery.

Brandon is reunited with his father.

A couple of hours after their surgery, two patients play in the ward with toys provided by the team. Even immediately after surgery, the transformation in each child is dramatic.