The day started with the Rotaplast team to receive the first 47 patients, all between the ages of 7-month-old to 42 years old. These patients traveled from remote locations with hopes of achieving the dream that, for so many others, has been unreachable: To be able to smile and speak with confidence.
The team members departing from San Francisco had a delay and therefore the boxes required for the pre clinic were only unpacked on clinic day! Fortunately, Mission Director Randy Floyd and Pediatrician Bryan Stamm were on this trip to Medellin as they have been on many trips with Rotaplast before which made unpacking easy. The last thing we want to do is keep our patients waiting!
There were many activities planned to make the children feel comfortable and welcome! We know that hospitals can sometimes be scary. To combat this fear, the Colombian police dressed up like a princess, superman, and batman to welcome the kids to the clinic! It was a very warm welcome. They were very committed to their roles as they dressed up for the first two days of the clinic!
Many patients came from very far away. Some of these patients like those pictured above are from indigenous communities and do not speak Spanish. These communities are usually in more rural areas that are difficult to get to. Some families had to travel by donkey, bus, and foot for the opportunity to get surgery. Despite the long journey the parents pictured above came in beautiful local hand made clothing.
This photo captures Angel deep in thought. Despite not speaking Spanish, as he is from an indigenous community, he greatly enjoyed painting and playing with Rotaplast volunteers and the other patients attending the clinic. We are lucky to work with him!
Deborah Woolford, the Recreation Therapist, brought toys with her to give to the kids during pre-clinic. She had fun playing with the kids and they enjoyed her company as well!
James Eustermann, the Quartermaster, prioritized his looks by getting a new hair style from a patient!!! Looking good James!