Today, we performed our first surgeries.  Shahid had a simple cleft lip, repaired by a short surgery of about 30 minutes that is life changing.  People with cleft lips sometimes lead very sheltered lives and do not attend school.   Sometimes it is as if they don’t even exist.  This surgery, or the more complex one below, changes the entire future of the child, their siblings, their parents and grandparents, and their community.  Thirty minutes changes a person for the better allowing for an education and a normal life.

Shahid is in the recovery room after his lip repair.

Sarthak came with his parents and his most devoted grandfather, who held him close, comforting him with song and movement.

Sharron Newton (OR Nurse) comforts Sarthak as they enter the operating room.

Sarthak napping after surgery.  His lip will heal beautifully!

Chitra and her mom.  Chitra is playing with one of Beanie Babies collected during a fundraiser by fifth grader, Elisa at Sacred Heart School in Saratoga, California, USA.

Neal Fleming (Lead Anesthesiologist) visits with Chitra before anesthetizing her.

Chitra has a hemangioma on her neck that will be removed.

Michael Yim (Anesthesiologist) carries Chitra to the recovery room after her surgery.

Chitra just after surgery.

A couple more photos of our volunteers:  Michael Yim (anesthesiologist) with local anesthesia technicians.

Steve Hooper, our instrument sterilizer, is being trained by hospital staff member Deepak.

There was a special news conference at the hospital today announcing the joint efforts of Nayati Hospital and Rotaplast to provide cleft lip, cleft palate and burn repair surgeries for local children.  The hospital has very generously given their support with the use of their excellent facility as well as staff.

Above, Rotary President Rahul Wadhwa spoke at the news conference.  He and his brother Sachin have worked together with the eight local Rotary Clubs of Agra the last couple months to get everything into place; normally this takes a full year.  They have posted billboards and signs, and brought information throughout the city.  We screened many walk-in patients today because of their preparation.  They have translated, fed us, transported us, housed us, and anticipated our every need before we even recognize them, taking care of every possible detail.