Cleft Exchange Day Six — Final Day
The last day of the Medical Exchange was a smooth day filled with laughter.
Gavin is doing wonderfully and Stephanie tells us that is in part due to his wonderful caregiver, Lui Yan. Lui Yan is a member of the LWB’s Anhui Cleft Healing Home and also LWB’s foster care manager for Lu’an.
She took this trip to Shanghai by herself in order to care for Gavin. She has loving and responsible and has had little to no sleep in the last three days as she has held, held and comforted him during his time in the hospital. Love Without Boundaries is so blessed to have staff like her in China. As Stephanie said “Together we make a difference!”
Gavin is recovering so well and rapidly that he may be discharged back to the Anhui Cleft Healing Home in just three days post-op! Stephanie has already gotten a smile out of him for the camera. What a strong, happy baby!
Today was filled with goodbyes as children left with their caregivers. It is always hard to say goodbye after getting to know the children so well. Lianne, Lei, Brian and Gang all were discharged in the morning. Liping was everywhere making arrangements for all the Ayis and making sure no detail was missed. He was invaluable in making arrangements for the beginning of the mission and now he will see to the last details as the trip ends. As the rest of the team leaves, Liping will remain to help the Caregivers and children until the last one has been discharged home. We could not have done this exchange without him!
The surgeries of the day were all lip repairs and the doctors were able to make the best use of their time teaching and learning. Ping, Lu and Jia all return to the ward with beautiful repairs. They look just fantastic!
Rong has run a little fever so they will keep her in the hospital for another day. Cheerful, optimistic Xi has not cried after surgery despite some swelling in his face. We, the China and USA staff, have had quite the discussion of whether this is a girl or boy and we have settled on Stephanie’s “a pink boy” even thought he orphanage has told us this is a girl. No matter, he is very cute and engaging!
The afternoon was filled with speeches and academic lectures. Dr Ness gave a speech about the teamwork necessary to repair facial deformities then gave lectures, translated by Richard and Dr Dong, to the entire medical staff at Fudan’s Children’s Hospital and Dr Xiao Xin Min, a leading pediatric surgeon in China. Dr Martin gave also provided academic lectures to the anesthesiologists. The lectures were also attended by the expats who then joined everyone for the celebration banquet. It was summed by DR Ness- “HAPPY, HAPPY!”
It was a wonderful week, twenty-two children with difficult cleft lips, palates and facial deformities were repaired successfully repaired, medical knowledge was exchanged, new skills learned, friendships forged, and relationships built.
Love Without Boundaries 7th Medical Mission was a complete success. It would not have been possible without the hard work, over months of time, of people worldwide. Sponsors, volunteers around the world, doctors, nurses, government officials in the USA and China, the expats in China all worked together to change the lives of these children forever.