The Miller Adventist Hospital in Cebu has graciously again allowed Rotaplast International to set up our mission in their facility. Their hospital staff is welcoming and very helpful. The hospital’s fifth floor gymnasium has been converted into an area we can use to screen/examine our prospective candidates for corrective surgery.

The first step in the screening process is registering the child which begins with our medical record coordinator, Sangita Seshadri, seen here with our Mission Director, Evelyn Abad. Sangita (her day job is as an executive consultant in the pharmaceutical industry) has been on four missions and Evelyn has 20 years experience with Rotaplast as head nurse, mission director, and is a full time volunteer at Rotaplast headquarters in charge of medical volunteer staffing.

Each child is assessed by a team consisting of a plastic surgeon (pictured, Medical Director, Rod Simonds, Plastic Surgeon Jim Hoyt, OR nurse, Susan Dean, Anesthesiogist, Mark Tidyman). If it is decided that surgery is the proper option, then further assessment is done by a pediatrician, and vital signs are measured. Many are also examined by our team Orthodontist, Grace Sang, who lives and practices in Cebu.

Grace Sang, our Orthodontist from Cebu, has been part of our team for the last few years. She adds an important dimension to our mission-both assisting in examinations and surgeries, but also she is able to  construct dental appliances called obturators which aid individuals in their speech.Children and their parents are extremely patient as they wait to be told if they are able to be scheduled for surgery.

Thanks to whoever invented post-it notes. They are a great help to our head nurse, Mia Pena, who uses them to plan our surgery schedule. Now after a long wait, families can hear the news they have waited so patiently for-the information on when they can expect to have their surgeries.

After a very long day (the team came to the clinic at 7 am and will leave about 6 pm) we head for our hotel and get ready to return to Miller Hospital early in the morning to prepare for the surgeries. The team is exhausted, but so excited with what miraculous changes they will see as the surgeries are performed. Not only will the emotions run high with the children’s families, but with our Rotaplast team as well!

We will see about 150 infants and children whose families are anticipating corrective surgeries to correct cleft lip and/or cleft palates. The surgeries will change the lives of not only the children, but the futures of their families as well.

The Rotary Club of Cebu Port Center has been assisted in informing prospective families of our upcoming mission by Abounding In Love, an organization which is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Abounding in Love has brought over 60 prospective candidates to this clinic. They have brought them from outlying villages, provided transportation to the clinic and the return home, and provided housing and meals while they are here. We are truly grateful for their assistance to make our mission successful as we ” Change Lives and Create Smiles “