We settled back into the routine quickly today. There were a few new faces and names to learn, but there were many familiar smiles as well. Happily, some of the familiar faces were children returning for one year post op visits. This was a joyful experience. A few children were returning for a second procedure, having had a cleft lip repair last year, and now coming in for a cleft palate repair. It is very satisfying to see how good they look and to know that they’ll soon have an easier time with eating and speech development as well. We also saw several patients who had had cleft palate repairs last year–what a joy to hear their mothers tell us that they are eating easily now, without food and liquid spilling from their nostrils as happens with a cleft palate.
We saw fewer children in Screening Clinic yesterday than we did during last year’s clinic, though several patients did arrive today and were seen. Perhaps more will trickle in this week. Four procedures were scheduled for today, though one was delayed until tomorrow due to a lab abnormality that required further blood work.
What sticks in my mind most about today however, is the number of people volunteering their time to help these children. There is a visiting nurse from Nasheville who is spending six weeks here. A medical student from New Zealand joined us in the OR today and helped with writing orders, intraoperative photos and other tasks. The hospital director’s wife also seems to be a full time volunteer and is helping with filling out forms to get further funding for the cleft lip and palate program, and joined us in the OR to take photos. Several people volunteered in the Screening Clinic yesterday as well. And, of course, we are also here as volunteers. It warms my heart to know that there is still much good in the world, as I can see it at work at this hospital. I much prefer this view of humanity–people helping people who are complete strangers–as compared with that which I see on the evening news. (I wrote this blog before the tragic bombing in Boston was on the news…my heart goes out to all affected by this tragedy).
Here are a few preop photos from Screening Clinic. (I surely miss my photographer who is studying hard in school right now and couldn’t make the trip).