Cleft Exchange Day Two
The first day of surgery has flown by smoothly. What a wonderful day it was. Everyone got up early in order to get to the hospital by 8am. The nurses did not know who would be first so all the children were prepared.
The first baby, Peng, entered the OR at 8:15. He looked so little in the big bed…there are so many emotions as you watch a little one rolled into surgery. You pause when you see how small and vulnerable they look and yet at the same time you feel such joy knowing that they will return with a new smile and repaired lip or palate that will enable them to have a better life. Peng’s caregiver needed to give him that one last hug and then off to the OR he went. He returned back to the floor several hours later safe and sound with a new smile to the delight of all!
JD was next for surgery. He was very brave waiting, and his teacher took pictures and told him jokes to distract him from being anxious. What a wonderful man! JD returned with his repair in record time and is sleeping as he recovers. His teacher was so relieved and happy that he had tears in his eyes, but soon, he too was taking a nap.
Concern, caring, traveling and staying in the hospital can be so exhausting. His teacher is anxious to help JD speak more clearly, and Jone, our volunteer from Spain, will work on getting him some information and exercises to help him.
The day progressed nicely with each surgery going smoothly as the doctors worked well together, enjoying each other’s company. Dr. Wang worked with Dr. Martin while Dr. Shen and Dr. Dong worked with Dr Ness. Although each surgery involved teaching, studying, and learning, each procedure went perfectly and before long the entire group was done.
Dr. Zheng Shan, one of the leaders of Fudan Children’s Hospital, spent the entire day in the OR. She has been so dedicated in making sure this exchange between the US and China happened and that everything has gone smoothly. Here she is pictured with one of the babies ready for surgery.
As the day progressed, the next group of children arrived from the hotel to get ready for their surgeries tomorrow. Becca is able to make a plaything out of anything and had a good time with this sign.
She is a shining example of beautiful, healthy child who has benefited greatly from the Anhui Cleft Healing Home, where she resided as an infant. She then moved into the LWB foster care program and I can tell you for sure, this is a girl who NEVER misses a meal!
Gavin remains in the hospital receiving antibiotics and close care so he might recover in time to have surgery on Friday. We are all praying that this will be possible so he can benefit from Dr Ness’s skill at closing his facial cleft. Despite his illness, he remains a smiley baby and is charming everyone.
Everyone in Shanghai has sent reports that the exchange is going so well. New friendships are being formed, and of course young lives are being changed forever. More news tomorrow!