Cleft Exchange Day Four
The last days of a Cleft Mission are always the busiest! Today was a day filled with joy and laughter as many of the children who had surgery on the first day left to return to their hometowns and more children arrived to prepare for their surgeries tomorrow.
There was laughter within the team members, too. They waited and waited for their familiar van and driver and when they could not find him they decided to take a taxi to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, our medical director Richard received a phone call, “Where are you? I am your driver and I have been waiting for you”, the anxious voice said. It was a new driver who was still waiting at the hotel for them….oops! It was a different van and the driver had left home early so he could get them to the hospital on time. Richard took responsibility for the confusion, and apologies were made and accepted
Then later in the day Dr. Shen called Richard to say “It is Mission Impossible! How come FIVE more cleft children are coming? There is no way to finish all the surgeries!”
This was a big shock for Richard! He was told there was a foreign woman arriving with five children needing cleft surgery. Richard told them this was impossible and he had no idea who this was. He hurried to the floor where a Chinese doctor had taken this lady. It turned out she was from Brazil and spoke very little English. Richard tried to talk seriously with her to tell her that they could not possibly take any more children for surgery. You can just imagine his relief when he finally realized it was all a misunderstanding and that she was actually an Expat who had come to help with the cleft babies that day -The “five cleft children” already were scheduled for surgery that day.
A sense of humor is invaluable on these trips. We really love Richard and his ability to handle any situation that arises AND keep his sense of humor.
The team began today with a meeting with Director of CHFD, Dr Huang. Our work together, medical exchanges and further cooperation were discussed in this meaningful and productive meeting.
Dr. Huang was excited to hear that there were three Jinjiang children arriving today for surgery because Jinjiang is his hometown. He tried to see them but sadly couldn’t since he had to leave for the airport before they arrived. The meeting ended with Dr Ness presenting a plaque to CHFD from LWB in gratitude for their generous support and dedication in making this Medical Exchange possible.
Four children were discharged today: JD, Peng, Liang and Xiang. We were sad to see JD head back home with his teacher. How I wish I could be there to see in the joy in his grandmother’s eyes as he returns home! We will continue to follow his story, and I am sure this boy is going to grow up to do great things!
Lei was the first surgery of the day and Dr Shen performed her surgery beautifully!
Gavin was to be the second case but sadly his lungs are not entirely clear so they have put him off until tomorrow when they will try again. He is looking so much stronger but his lungs just are not clear enough to risk surgery just yet. Please keep him your thoughts and prayers.
The next two surgeries, Gang and Rong, were much more difficult, but thanks to the joint efforts of the Chinese and American surgeons, their repairs turned out beautifully.
Lianne had a fun morning playing with everyone and receiving a beautiful Barbie doll, but when it was her turn for surgery she and her foster mother sobbed and held hands as she was wheeled down the hall to the surgery suite. She returned awake and happily showed Stephanie her new mouth.. A very brave girl, she took some pain medicine and was able to play with the Expats between napping in her bed.
Brian was the last surgery of the day. He was very hungry but decided he would just sleep until it was his turn. He returned a little fussy but his caregiver is very attentive and is taking great care of him.
Yuan is doing well today, no fever and no cough so she will be able to have surgery tomorrow. They will finish the rest of the palate cases and hopefully Gavin too.
Xi, Jian, Ping, Jia and Lu arrived today and were admitted into hospital.
Little Xi is very joyful. She makes friends with strangers easily and everyone is so attracted by her smile! She quickly made friends with An from Hefei. I just love the picture of them laughing together in the slideshow and also the picture of her with the doctors.
There was cause for more laughter as little Jian was walking around the hall with his diaper hanging loose. When they told the foster mom, she said, “His bottom needed to breath”.
Tomorrow will be a “SUPER AMBITIOUS” day according to Dr Martin . Stay tuned! And as always, we are so grateful for your support and prayers for these wonderful children.