Hector Javier is a twenty two year old student with plans to become a dentist. Our first contact with Hector was as a candidate for surgery. Hector had recieved past surgery to correct a cleft lip and palate. During a conversation with Dr. Capozzi Hector expressed that he was not sure he wanted to submit to yet another surgery. Dr Capozzi asked if Hector had access to the internet. When Hector replied that he did, Dr. Capozzi told him to research the procedure for an Abbe Flap. This conversation occured in the morning, and by early afternoon Hector had returned and wanted to proceed. Our team pediatrian cleared him for surgery, but Hector asked to have his surgery postponed and go last, so he could volunteer to help others. This was how I first met Hector.
I would see Hector in the morning when I arrived, and later in the day there was Hector, always cheerful, and always ready to lend a hand in any way he could.
Dr. Doumit one of our surgeons related a conversation he had with Hector regarding Hector's aspiration to become a Dentist. Dr. Doumit was impressed with Hector, and encouraged him to continue his education and consider becoming a physician, or surgeon. Will Hector follow his aspirations? We can only hope so, and wish him success. I have found that Rotaplast changes far more than just smiles.
Hector's story is just one of many from working with the Pereira Rotarians , Rotaplast Team members, and the volunteers from the Sonrie Fundacion. We will all remember Hector fondly as patient, a volunteer , and most importantly as a friend.