I think one of my favorite surgeries, is the dramatic cleft lip surgeries. I love to see the transformation that happens in their little faces and to know that the reasons they were abandoned are healed and they are closer to being adoptable. I am so grateful to the people who come to help me and for the wonderful hope they bring to the children.
This year was the first year we worked with the Australian medical team. I am so grateful to Dr Siew, who comes to visit us three times a year. This trip was her fourth one. She worked so hard on getting us approved for tax free deduction with the help of Global Development Group and for campaigning to help the cleft lip and palate babies in China. I know she has the best interest of the babies at heart.
We are so grateful for the Australian Chinese Medical Association (Victoria) and their willingness to approve Dr Ian Holten, Dr Terence Beh, OR nurses Helen Chadwick and Sonia Giannetti to come to China and to work with Dr Bai and the medical staff of the Jiao Tong Hospital and to pay for the expenses involved with that. Thank you so much the volunteers that came with to lend a hand. I appreciate each one of you and the services you offered. We hope that this will turn into a yearly trip.
This trip helped 14 babies get surgery. There are stories that really touched me. I was so impressed with the parents who did not abandon their daughter in spite of the fact that she had a cleft lip. They fought against the demand of her mother-in-law to let the little girl go. She was so touched the day she left, because she found out that the surgery to repair her lip was free.
The 7 year old boy from the Roman Catholic orphanage really grabbed my heart too. He had just barely come from the recovery room and the first thing he said: I was so brave, I did not even cry. He had had a rhinoplasty (nose job) because his nose had collapsed on the one side. I noticed that he could not see well and after the surgery he got an eye exam and will be getting glasses next week. I hope that this will help him go to school. He might need some tutoring to do that.
As with all medical trips we always run into some problems. This year we had two babies get Chicken pox spots the afternoon before surgery which brought things to a screeching halt. That was easy to deal with. The much harder situation was having Mia die a day after surgery. It was shocking because in trying to help her, the death was unexpected and sudden. It is always a reminder that surgery is serious stuff.
I am so grateful for the blessing of being the one to see on a daily basis how the babies lives are changed. I am so grateful for medical teams who come to bless these babies and to heal the reason they were abandoned.. Thank you so much for your sacrifices and those of your families and for sharing your skills with us.
Nurse Sonya and Taylor
Life, love and laughter,
AmandaWe recently hosted for a medical team from Australia to do a medical trip and do surgery for 13 babies with cleft lip and palate surgeries and one requiring hand surgery..
Starfish Children's Services