For the last thirteen years, LWB has sent medical teams to China to provide life-changing surgeries to both orphaned and rural children.
In 2016, when we began our work in other countries, we immediately set a goal to expand our international outreach with this essential program as well. Many emails were sent to hospitals and organizations throughout southeast Asia introducing LWB and our Cleft Medical Exchange program.
In February, we found the perfect opportunity for LWB’s first surgical trip outside of China. Our team is very excited to partner with a wonderful organization called Smile Cambodia.
Smile Cambodia, led by Dr. Theavy Mok since 2002, is committed to providing surgeries to patients in need as well as providing educational opportunities for Cambodian doctors and nurses. This practice beautifully aligns with LWB’s vision for any medical exchange: to not only impact the lives of the children seen during LWB’s time in-country but well beyond that through the exchange of medical training and experiences.
Smile Cambodia and their partner hospital, Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, will host LWB’s medical team during the week of October 16-23.
On Monday, October 16th, we will work together to evaluate surgery candidates, making sure the children meet all the needed medical criteria for safe surgery. Once the list of candidates and alternates has been made, we will match surgery sponsors to the exact child they will be impacting.
We are planning 50 operations during the week, and so far 29 children have sponsors. We’d love for you to be a part of the healing by sponsoring one of the kids today, and we can’t wait to introduce you to your sponsored child the week of the exchange!
Once children are identified and accepted for surgery, surgeries will take place Tuesday through Friday, with LWB and Smile Cambodia doctors and volunteers working side by side for the benefit of the children. On Saturday, the team will make a final check on patients remaining in the hospital, and then it will be time to head home.
It is one whole year since the planning process began, and at last the time has come for our journey. Flights and hotels are booked; medical supplies have been collected; handmade bibs, no-nos and toys, which have been donated for the children, are finding their spot in the luggage; volunteers are preparing for their time away from their families; the LWB update team is in place and waiting to send out updates as quickly as possible to donors; and last-minute details are being finalized.
While we might only have 19 people actually traveling to Cambodia, we know we have hundreds and hundreds of hearts going with us.
Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this trip possible! Fifty wonderful children will receive the medical care they deserve, thanks to your support.