I had the awesome privilege of working with Operation Smile! Because of the baby that was born a few weeks ago with cleft lip, I decided to look and see when Operation Smile would be in our area, to my surprise it was the week after I was looking! Unfortunately I could not take this newborn to be operated but I did take 3 other for evaluation. Before hand I talked with the director of OS here in Ecuador and he told me what to expect and what to make sure that the kids had before we went. Because of that when he asked the kids that were with me where they were from he remembered Pimampiro and immediately knew who I was. We spent the whole day waiting to be evaluated, one of the three qualified for surgery! The other two are older and have had previous operations.
The newborn I will take to Quito with me in January to be operated! All the kids must be at least 3 months of age and 5 kg. He will be that in January!
At the end of the day the director found me and asked if I would like to work with them, yep as a nurse, during the time they were in Ibarra. Of course I took the opportunity and worked with them!! We did surgery on 79 kids!! Amazing how “easily” a cleft lip and/or palette can be fixed! Also they do other cosmetic surgeries, for instance a 28 year old girl who was burned by boiling water from the chest to the knees we loosened up her skin some so that she could be in less pain. A kid born with no skin around they eye, they constructed an eye lid. Kids born with their mouths much larger than they are supposed to be, so we made them smaller. So many surgeries in such a short time...and the most amazing part are the parents. When the child wakes up from anesthesia and is able to drink we take them to their parents which then go to the floor to be watched for 24 hours...the look on the parents faces is amazing! Especially the kids who had an open cleft lip and now have a full “normal” lip. How amazing!
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Operation Smile! The amazing thing about Operation Smile here in Ecuador is that there is a director here and a group of surgeons and nurses who work together, in all 4 cities every year. I will be working with them from now on, and our next mission is Quito in January! I am super excited to be able to work with them again!