The start of a new year brings new beginnings and a hope for better things to come. Sometimes, it’s a blessing because we may have suffered loss throughout the year and want for a fresh start. And sometimes, it’s just your birthday.

Access to health care is considered a luxury in developing countries. For this reason, birth records are not maintained or created, especially in remote villages. Of the over 130 patients being seen at the clinic, seventeen of them have January 1st birthdays. The parents have a general idea of the age of their child but do not recall a specific birthdate. So for our medical records, they are given a January 1st birthday. Happy New Year!

The treatment of a burn injury was added to the agenda of Rotaplast missions only recently. And with burn injuries comes a myriad of complications, from wound and dressing care, to risk of infection and proper physical rehabilitation. Proper education during the mission is communicated consistently to patients so that their recovery can be effective.

Myint San is a 60 year old woman who sustained burns to her body over 30 years ago. While filling the gas tank of a scooter, the gas ignited and exploded.  She sustained significant burns to her entire body, especially around her neck. Slowly, her skin tightened enough so that she would no longer talk.

The surgeon loosened the skin around her neck to give her freedom to move her jaw.  We have all adopted her as a grandmother/mother/sister.  She now has alot to say…..

And here is 30 year old Myo Win Htet  with burns to his left hand.

The surgical team transformed his hand, and his life, by giving him use of his fingers again.

Anesthesiologists are an integral part of a surgical team.  Anesthesiologists are acute care specialists and as such provide intensive care techniques of airway management, pain control, stabilization, and proper postoperative medical management of patients. Below is our team of anesthesiologists.

Dr. Kenneth has over 35 years experience in his field and have done 16 missions, two of them with Rotaplast.

Dr. Leonard intubating a patient.

And Dr. Anna Lai comforting a patient post surgery.

There are different trays of surgical tools, depending on the procedure whether it’s a cleft lip, cleft palette or burn.  Our non-medical volunteers Mary-Beth and Jo keep busy sterilizing the surgical tools required for surgery. Their job is essential to the work flow in the operating room. Together, they have completed over 40 missions.

Members of the Rotary Club of Wells Maine have been making quilts for patients since 2001.Wrap-A-Smile is entirely devoted to supporting the medical missions of Rotaplast International. To a quilter, being “Wrapped in a small disposal plastic sheet after surgery was not acceptable.” There group of volunteers have provided the mission with beautiful quilts seen here.  To know more about Wrap-A-Smile, click on the link below.

When we celebrate the start of a new year, we will remember the January 1st babies with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts.