LWB Community Blog

Day Five of the 2010 Cleft Surgery Trip

So many kids healed and futures transformed. Such love and concern surrounding the children. Day five has been another emotional and wonderful day as the doctors, staff, and volunteers have all worked together to give the gifts of hope and healing to the children.
Fenn is finally smiling at us again. We are so happy! It was really hard when he stopped smiling at us after surgery, but fortunately we are now back in his good graces. Garrett will be returning with Fenn to their home orphanage.
As reported previously, the doctors were unable to help Garrett on this trip. We are hopeful that he can receive the first stage of his needed surgery this winter. Garrett has kept all the student nurses busy with his playful antics. He is a very big and strong boy and the nurses have nicknamed him “King Kong.” Always a greatly anticipated and wonderful accomplishment for every child are their first steps, and Garrett took his first steps today. Soon he was speeding down the halls, holding on to people’s fingers. It is likely he will be upright and running by the end of the week!

Melissa also left for her home orphanage today. Her lip looks beautiful! We are happy to know that her adoption paperwork will be submitted to the CCAA. Hopefully soon she will have her own family to share her beautiful smiles with!

At noon, a very shy man came to the hospital with his small son. His son is almost four years old and has a bilateral cleft lip. The child’s mother has a poorly repaired cleft lip and does not leave her home as a result. The man’s cousin accompanying the dad said the dad had seen the news coverage and developed the courage to come to ask for help for his son. The father is an older man, and it is clear he adores his small son. When told that we would be able to provide the surgery for his son, Shun Yu, the father burst into tears. The father, being very shy, had a hard time posing for the pictures and answering questions, but he worked up his courage and did so with tears in his eyes. His love and courage to obtain help for his son moved all of us to tears as well.

Another extremely emotional moment from the day was when Meng Yi, the daughter of the young widowed girl whose husband was killed in a factory accident, came out from surgery. Her lip was beautiful, and her mother and grandfather were overjoyed. A little later, when Meng Yi wanted to eat and was not yet able to as it was too soon after surgery, she cried and cried. Her mother soon began to sob more deeply than the baby. She sobbed that her daughter was unhappy, and she sobbed that Meng Yi’s father was not there to share this with her. Her father and the mother of Yu Xuan, another rural girl waiting for surgery, walked, rocked, and cared for Meng Yi while the mother was comforted by our staff and the other parents in the room. The mother soon realized that she was not alone and took comfort in holding and walking with her daughter.

We have two young girls, Yu Xuan and Li Feng, from poor rural families who are here to have surgery. We have enjoyed getting to know both girls. Not only are they both very shy and sweet, they also both have twin brothers! Li Feng, seen below, is in sixth grade and loves to draw and play with the toddlers. We have been charmed by her sweet smiles. She had her surgery today, and Dr Martin shared that she was the most cooperative patient he has had for someone that age. She was very sweet as she prepared for her surgery to start. Her palate was fixed, and she came back from the OR in time for us to say goodnight. We are hoping she has a restful night.

Yu Xuan shares her very shy smile with us in the above photo. She lives with her grandmother and twin brother. She had a repair of her cleft lip when she was one years old and is hopeful that Dr Ness can make her lip look better than it does now. Her lip revision is scheduled for Friday morning.

We are truly grateful that we have had the privilege of helping children from rural families needing assistance. Donations of any amount toward the surgeries for Shun Yu, Yu Xuan, Li Feng, and other rural children are greatly appreciated and can be made here. Please indicate “Rural Children Donation” in the Notes section of your donation.

We were happy to see that Mr. Smiley, aka Joel, was back to smiling but were worried that his grinning was not good for the stitches; so we let him recover quietly for today without pestering him for pictures.

Daisy continues to be a very good natured, happy baby. She is content to play with her caregiver and coo for hours. Her next bed neighbor, Whitney, is having a rougher recovery. She has had a fever and quite a bit of swelling; so she is not very comfortable. Fortunately her caregiver is right at her side and very attentive. No baby is ever without a loving pair of arms to rock them and hold them as they recover from their surgeries.

Madelyn came back from her surgery with not only a beautiful new face but also a great attitude. She was awake, active, kicking, and singing as soon as she was back in bed. “Ahhhh, oohhhhh,” she sings so very sweetly!

The three musketeers continue to recover from their surgeries in the toddler room. They have decided that they do not like white coats and will cry hard if you enter the room in one. Their roommate, Chloe, can sense a camera even in her sleep and will wake up and scream. Louie decided to join the fun in the toddler room and it was fun to see them all playing together.

Lianne remains a favorite of the student nurses and doctors. She is just so pretty and delicate in her little hat! She and John, in a matching hat, were discharged today, wrapped in quilts that Dr Ness’s mother made for each child receiving surgery. Seeing the babies wrapped in the quilts reminded us again how many people have taken part in the trip. It would not be possible to change the lives of so many children without the support of each of you.

We believe that the biggest transformation so far has been for Wade, who has been so tenderly cared for by his foster grandfather. The lip repair is truly perfect, and Wade’s foster grandfather has hovered over him smiling with joy. There are simply no words to describe our joy at seeing Wade’s and other children’s lives changed.

With all the babies being discharged, more babies going for surgeries, and a new admission of a very poor rural boy, it was a very emotional day. SO many lives were changed… not just the children having surgery, but also the lives of all who care for them and everyone around them.

We are sure you would agree that these beautiful and brave children and families have touched your and our lives as well!

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  • kristy day says:

    This story of the father bringing his son after seeing the footage brought me to tears, and THIS is precisely why I believe in LWB’s work. That on a whim LWB is giving him surgery, but my heart longed that his mother would’ve come and also received a revision surgery that she may feel confident to leave her home! Oh what a beautiful day of healing and hope! Praise God.

  • beth raymond says:

    ohhh my goodness,the three muskateers picture just made me smile and laugh right out loud. the three cuties,beautifully repaired standing there in thier “no-no’s” waiting for…….im just not sure. soooooooooo precious.