There are always certain young people who stand out because of their physical problems, their emotional challenges, or merely the circumstances where they find themselves. In the case of Edwin Daniel, he faced all three.
We noticed Edwin on the registration day because, at 16 years old, he was a little older than most of our patients and so he stood taller than the rest. His two front teeth protruded significantly and his upper lip would not close over them. It was clear that he had had prior surgeries for his cleft lip.
What we learned, was that he had had three prior surgeries to correct his cleft lip, but in all three, the doctors had failed to connect the lip muscles on either side of the cleft, so that his lip could close down over his front teeth. This pressure from the upper lip is an important force that pushes front teeth into the proper position in the gum. He was accepted for surgery and his lip repair was done successfully by the Rotaplast surgical team.
Edwin lives a long way from Oaxaca. His mother joined him on the 12-hour trip from their home to the hospital. They live in the mountains and it's a long, twisty road leading to the area of his home and the final part of the trip is on foot.
Edwin has two siblings who stayed with an uncle while he and his mother came to the Rotaplast clinic. The commitment on the part of his mother to improve the appearance and physical condition of her son is a remarkable thing, and she was relying on the uncle to take care of the other children while she was away.
The day after Edwin's surgery his mother received a message that the uncle had suddenly passed away. The shock of his death had hardly sunk in when it became clear that she had a bigger problem, who would look after the other children? She was 12 hours away and the sole source of supervision for her other children was now gone. She struggled with this dilemma and chose to take Edwin out of the recovery ward early in order to make the return trip immediately. Our doctors recommended against Edwin's early departure because he was still under their supervision and he'd not recovered enough to travel. Edwin also isn't old enough and familiar enough with bus transportation to make the trip on his own. Eventually, a solution appeared: someone previously unknown to Edwin's mother was traveling to their home area a few days later and offered to accompany Edwin home. The mother was able to go home and Edwin stayed in the ward until he recovered from the surgery and made the trip safely.
With sympathy for Edwin's mother, we're glad he was able to have his surgery, receive the follow-up care he needed and make the trip home safely.