I’ve just returned from a fantastic week in Ica, Peru. Definitely not a vacation (who works 12 hours a day on vacation!?), but reinvigorating in a different way. Every year I travel southward to work in humble facilities, with babies and children born with cleft lip or cleft palate. And as much as I can help these families, it really helps me just as much. It reminds me of what medicine is all about, deep down. In this country, we get bogged down in marketing and commercialization and insurance games. In Peru, I take care of patients who need me – and really, I need them.
This was the first trip to Ica, Peru, with Healing the Children. Ica is a strange and amazing place, with sand dunes and grape arbors and asparagus farms… and extreme poverty. For an inaugural mission, we did great – we saw just under 100 patients and performed 64 surgeries! Among my cases was a truly beautiful 10 year old girl – I’ll call her Princess, since that’s what her sweater said. She had lived with a cleft lip her entire life, with speech problems and teasing, because no surgery was available. After the surgery, she has a beautiful, symmetric, intact lip. And judging by the handshake given to me by her father, Princess has a whole new life ahead of her.
Below is a pre-op and immediate post-op photo. To see more photos, visit the gallery on our website and check out our Facebook page. Lastly, and most importantly, if you are interested in supporting future Healing the Children missions through tax-deductable donations, please visit www.htcne.org. Gracias por su ayuda!