Posts from 2019

Dec 1, 2019

When you’re smiling (the whole world smiles with you)

Narnaul, India

“Clinic Day”, our last day on the mission, is where patients come back for follow-up medical appointments post-surgery. As access to health care in developing countries is minimal, patients ensure they... Read More »

Nov 25, 2019

Better Together

Narnaul, India

We are fortunate to have some very special non-medical volunteers on this mission who are also highly skilled medical professionals.  PACU Assistant Ligaya Agustin and Patient Coordinator Deborah Dean are... Read More »

Nov 24, 2019

Wrap your arms around me

Narnaul, India

Wrap a Smile: Our bodies are designed to tightly control our internal temperature, no matter what the external temperature is. This natural regulation is called thermoregulation.  Our core temperature hol... Read More »

Nov 22, 2019

When I see you smile

Narnaul, India

A typical day on a mission starts with doctors/surgeons performing rounds on patients in the ward, those who have had surgeries and those who are scheduled for the current day. The ward is not quiet, with ... Read More »

Nov 22, 2019

A Whole New World

Narnaul, India

Stats about Cleft Lips and Palates: Doctors don’t always know why a baby develops a cleft, though some may be related to genetic or inherited factors. Some environmental factors can increase the risk... Read More »

Nov 20, 2019

One Step Closer

Narnaul, India

Clinic day is a special day, on every mission.  It’s the day we get to meet the patients, hear their stories, learn more about their culture and eat more of their food.  I have to be honest, we have be... Read More »

Nov 20, 2019

Come Fly with Me

Narnaul, India

33 hours! That’s right, 33 hours of travel time to get the team from San Francisco to  Narnaul India. The team of 16 brought with them 32 boxes carrying over 500 lbs of medical equipment including surgi... Read More »

Aug 2, 2018

Day 9 – Never Never Land

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Netherlands Rotary is a major sponsor of this mission.  Not only did they provide the mission with financial support, they provided the mission with volunteer support with Marianne Koebrugge, Marie-Jose d... Read More »

Aug 2, 2018

Day 8 – Happy New Year and Happy Birthday

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

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 so... Read More »

Aug 1, 2018

Day 7 – The shoe that grows

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Many of the volunteers on the mission belong to other non-profit organizations.  Diana, our medical records keeper, introduced us, and the kids of the mission, to The Shoe that Grows  https://theshoethat... Read More »

Jul 30, 2018

Day 6 – Time

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Warning: this article includes graphic images some readers may find disturbing. “Time is the most valuable thing that a man can spend.” –  Diogenes Laërtius We are here as volunteers, giving... Read More »

Jul 30, 2018

Day 5 – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

A surgical team is made up of  at least a surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a scrub and circulating nurse.  A cleft lip surgery usually spans about 45 minutes and a palate about 90 minutes.   A typical ... Read More »

Jul 29, 2018

Day 4 – Transformers

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

The day the team has been waiting for, the first surgical day. We arrive at the hospital early to ensure both operating rooms are set up and medical supplies are properly stored for easy access. Following ... Read More »

Jul 27, 2018

Day 2 and 3 – A picture worth a thousand words

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

After a 30 hour journey from San Francisco, the team enjoyed a quiet evening of Myanmar cuisine, team bonding and jet lag recovery. Day 2 started with the entire Rotaplast team, including local medical sta... Read More »

Jul 26, 2018

Day 1 – Thinking outside of boxes

Naypyitaw, Myanmar

There are no words to describe a mother’s anguish knowing her child is born with a birth defect like a cleft lip and/or palate. Although it is more common in developing countries, these young mothers... Read More »


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