Tag Archives: cleft

Cleft Bottles: Special Delivery!

During the first quarter of 2016, our China Medical Director received many calls requesting the special, squeezable, bottles which are so vital for helping cleft-affected children get adequate nutrition so they can grow and thrive. In fact, we received so many requests that we placed another order for over 1,000 additional bottles!

We receive calls from orphanages, maternity hospitals, and organizations coordinating medical trips, as well as healing homes and foster programs caring for children with cleft. Read more.

From Cleft Lip to Kaifeng, Part Two

Yesterday, LWB volunteer Nick Donovan shared his thoughts in a blog about why he decided to join our Cleft Medical Exchange and his initial impressions. Here is part two of his blog in which Nick witnesses his first cleft surgery:

As I entered the operating floor, I found myself content, focused, and composed. I had been here before. Knowing the patient’s perspective, I was anxious to see how the medical team approached days like this:  eight surgeries were on the schedule. I quickly changed into scrubs and threw on a surgical cap. I grabbed my face mask, and a mirror caught the corner of my eye. It took me three minutes to tie the mask on as I lost myself in the reflection. I was out of my comfort zone; I was now one of the masks.


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From Cleft Lip to Kaifeng, Part One

The day has come.

CME2016 holding hands

Countless appointments, days of preparation, and hours without food or water. Your surgery day has arrived. Read more.

Unity Initiative: Help Us Say “Yes”

In the work we do helping impoverished families receive medical care in China, we have found that raising funds for children in need of cleft repairs can sometimes be a complicated affair, primarily due to timing. Today we wanted to explain how many of the surgeries are arranged.

Many rural, farming families live a long distance from the top hospitals in their province known for providing cleft surgeries. The nearest hospital or clinic isn’t just down the street. Instead, it may be located many hours or even a day’s travel from their homes in the countryside, and getting there often takes quite a lot of effort. Read more.

Cleft Surgery and Nutrition

Many beautiful new smiles were made during our Cleft Medical Exchange this April!

Mary Beth before and after cleft repair surgery

Before the surgeons could work their magic, the children all had to meet several important milestones, one being that babies must weigh at least ten pounds before having surgery. Ten pounds doesn’t sound like a difficult weight to meet; however, one of the most immediate concern for a baby born with a cleft lip and palate is weight gain. Read more.

Unity In Action

Our Unity Initiative has seen a lot of action this past month! We thought now would be a good time to provide some updates on the families that we have committed to helping.

It’s now been two months since conjoined twins Harley and James had their separation surgery, and they are doing wonderfully.  Last week, their parents and grandmother brought them to the hospital in Shanghai for clubfoot repair.
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Personal Reflections on the 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange

CME2016 Winnie 2 4.19.16

After months of planning and anticipation and one crazy week jam-packed with surgeries, the 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange has concluded. The travelers have all arrived home safely, and I am sure the hospital is happy to have things back to normal as well. Read more.

The 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange: Final Moments

Saturday morning our team headed to the hospital to make our final rounds on the children and to say goodbye to the wonderful Chinese team we had worked with all week.  Real friendships are formed in both the OR and on the ward, and it was hard to say those final farewells, not knowing when, if ever, we would meet in person again.

IMG_0708 Read more.

The 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange: A Few Farewells and the Final Day of Surgery

Friday in Kaifeng was bittersweet, knowing that it was the final day of surgeries and that the trip was soon coming to a close. We began the day with lots of discharges, and while we were sad to see our little patients go, we are sure the children were ready to leave the hospital! To each of them, we send our warmest thoughts and wishes for a beautiful future.

Mary Beth, Leo, and Violet discharge to our healing homes

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The 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange: Day Five

We had another great day in Kaifeng with eight more children receiving surgery today. We’ll start by telling you about the children who are orphaned first, and then introduce you to some of the wonderful rural families we were honored to help with medical care.

As we mentioned yesterday, four of the little boys on today’s OR schedule were from the Kaifeng PT Center, which is a government-sponsored project run by one of the past directors of the Kaifeng orphanage. Read more.

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