Everyone pays a lot of attention to the babies,and they are really cute.
There are other stories that will grab your heartstrings also. Yesterday we operated on a 44 year old man. He is married with three children. What could life have been like for 44 years with a large cleft in his lip? I cannot imagine.
His wife put everything in perspective with her statement," I loved him before, and I will love him afterwards."
Sunday was our day off and we boarded one of the tourist boats to cruise the river.The boats we saw were carrying the commerce of the city. Sand, building materials, and produce all come by a fleet of hundreds of boats of all sizes. The river was a continuous flow day and night.
Part of the tour was the floating market. There several hundred boats of every description anchored waiting for customers, Each boat had a different product. If the boat sold pineapples, then there was a pineapple hanging from the mast.
The river is a highway, a food source, and a lifestyle.
We also visited a produce market which had more types of fruit and vegetables than I have seen before. The meat selection ran to species which I had not considered as food. Sorry, but the following photo was selected for all audiences.
When a child comes for surgery he or she comes with their entire family. Brothers, Sisters, Mom, Dad and Grandmother too. They all camp out for the duration. In our ward the rooms fill up with the children, their families, and all their gear. In the general hospital the families camp out in the hallways on their straw mats. They line both walls leaving only a path down the middle.
Today we ran with three ORs and everyone seemed to reach their rhythm. One of the sad moments is when a child has to be turned away because they have a fever or a baby is seriously underweight. When the team has traveled across 12 time zones you want to help everyone.
This boy is eight years old and he is a returning customer. He had a cleft lip repaired by Rotaplast in 2003.
On this mission we are running a clinic each day as more people are getting the word. In spite of the appearance there is an organized flow.
A parent can never choose one of their children as their favorite, but all the Rotaplast team members have favorite children.
Tuan, the little boy in the photo had the greatest disposition. He always had a smile for us. Tuan had surgery to remove the hairy nevis you see on the side of his face and I hope we will see him at post clinic with his warm happy smile.
Flip flops! When you move between areas of the hospital you must have the correct shoes. Between the OR and the ward can be three changes from street shoes to white flip flops to blue flip flops.
The Can Tho Central Hospital is very large and we are spread out over two floors. Tuesday was the first clinic. This is where we first meet the children and evaluate and create their charts. This year children are coming in on a daily basis, so we had a second clinic on Wednesday.