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Final Day of the Hefei Cardiac Exchange

On their final day in Hefei, the doctors had a wonderful visit and discussion with the cardiac staff of Anhui Children’s Hospital (ACH). LWB has worked with ACH for over 13 years, and two of our cleft surgery exchanges were held here. Anhui Children’s Hospital cares for many of the babies from our Healing Home program, and we always know they will get excellent, compassionate care. Incredibly, this hospital sees over one million patients per year!

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First Surgeries of the Cardiac Exchange

Yesterday was a very full day at Hefei Cardiac Hospital for our inaugural cardiac exchange.  The medical team began with morning rounds to check on the three children having surgery and to do more evaluations of the others who are waiting.

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The Hefei Cardiac Exchange Begins

LWB’s first Hefei Cardiac Exchange is now underway!  Dr. Stephen Langley and Dr. Jeremy Ringewald arrived in Anhui from Florida and were warmly welcomed by the team from the Hefei Cardiac Hospital and LWB’s China Directors. They were given a tour of the hospital and met the little patients who had been awaiting their arrival.

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Final Day of the 2017 Cambodia Medical Exchange

It’s our final morning to say “Hello from Phnom Penh and Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.” We’re happy that all our patients continue to recover well, and that meant a few more discharges were in order. Kenzie’s grandma reported that her granddaughter slept well through the night and completely regained her appetite, so it was time for our team to say goodbye to this beautiful little girl. We’re all wishing her a future filled with love, health, and laughter.

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Third Surgery Day of the 2017 Cambodia Medical Exchange

Hello again from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where our medical exchange team had another productive day.  First up was morning rounds — a great time to check on all the kids. For those of you who may be new to cleft operations, we’ll just say that recovery from palate surgery is often quite painful. Simply put – it hurts. During this week in Cambodia, we’ve been amazed at how quickly most of our patients have bounced right back after surgery.

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Second Surgery Day of the 2017 Cambodia Medical Exchange

It’s Day Two of surgeries here in Phnom Penh, and we’re happy to report that all of our little patients are doing well. Avery is understandably still very sore from her lip repair yesterday, but she looked great during morning rounds. One of the adorable little boys having surgery today is Silas, who will be turning four in just a few weeks. His parents are rice farmers, and he’s the baby of his family. Silas’ mom saw an advertisement that our team would be in Cambodia this week and knew right away that she needed to bring him to see the doctors.

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First Surgery Day of the 2017 Cambodia Medical Exchange

Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where it’s a balmy 90 degrees and 94% humidity!  The warm temps didn’t get in the way of some really successful surgeries today though. Little Avery hitched a ride on our team’s bus this morning, as she was one of the first children on the schedule. She had no idea that today her life was going to change in an enormous way.

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Intake Day

Today was Intake Day for our 2017 Cleft Medical Exchange. When our team arrived early in the morning, many families were already lined up hoping to be seen. Unlike our past medical exchange trips to China where we pre-identified the children having surgery, this year ads were sent to villages, schools, and orphanages by Smile Cambodia. Today was the “open call” for anyone to come and be seen by our international team.

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Let the Healing Begin!

All the members of our medical team have arrived safely in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Phnom Penh is the country’s largest and most densely populated city, with over 1.5 million people calling it home. Children will be coming here from all over Cambodia to have surgery this week. Our team photographer, Sherri Cox, snapped some pictures around town to give everyone a feel for where all the excitement will be happening.

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2017 Cleft Medical Exchange: Meet Avery

In many countries around the world, superstitions abound surrounding children born with medical needs. In Africa for example, it’s frequently thought that children born with birth defects are a result of witchcraft. In China, thousands of babies are abandoned each year by families who believe it’s the only way to remove the “curse” that someone has placed on them. In Cambodia, a country where many believe strongly in reincarnation, people often believe children are born with birth defects as punishment for something the baby did in his or her previous life. The sad reality is that as long as people don’t have access to accurate medical knowledge about special needs, superstition and fear will prevail.

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