FACES Peru Trip | Day 5

It's day five and the schedule has us all going little something like this... Up at 6:20, breakfast at 6:45, clinic at 7:15. The first two cases start before lunch and the final one begins at around 3 pm depending on how long the first 2 take. Each surgery is roughly 2-3 hours which does not include prep, pre op and post op. Patients are at the clinic for about a full day and a half. Photographs are required in preop, beginning of surgery, mid surgery, final surgery, in recovery and then with parents. I need to be here for all stages to document the trip. When everything is done some of us will head to dinner (which takes a few hours cause nothing is rushed here) and then head back to the hotel to blog both on FACES blog and Soul Mates Photo Blog. Whew, talk about a big day!

Today, Wednesday, there are 3 cases on the schedule, 1 cleft lip and 2 cleft pallets. Jorge is only 10 months old and is having his lip done. Just like Evelyn was a few days ago, Jorge is as calm as can be. He's a curious little thing following everyone with his eyes.

We said goodbye to Milagros from yesterday and showed her the new nose and taught her how to care for it.

Levi came in second for his cleft pallet and boy did he have some energy... after a while he calmed down and was able to play with his new toys provided by people from home. The kids love the hats, soccer balls, stuffed animals and blankets. Here's Levi before his surgery to repair pallet work. Levi already had his lip done and is here for his pallet. Her also has a ear deformity where his left ear is completely closed and has no developed eardrum.

The third patient of today was 24 year old Martina who was raised in a remote mountains town. I teared up at her story. Brave Martina had her first surgery last year to repair her lip and is back today to have her palette done. We soon learned that Martina never went to school because of her lip, she was too embarrassed and teased too often not only by the way she looked but also because of the way she sounded when she talked. Since she had her lip done she decided to attend first grade at 23 years old. Today she is so happy she can sign her name and being to be understood by her peers. Martina now lives with her her sister in Lima which is about 2 hours south from Chiclayo where FACES is working. Cross you fingers for Martina, the hope is that she will be able to come back every other month for speech therapy with the local rep. I do hope this sweet girl can have the therapy she needs... If it all works out she'll also be a great candidate for nose reconstruction next time.

Here's Martina!

Again, thanks so much for reading. I can't believe there are only 2 more days of surgery remaining.

Big smiles. Melissa Tomeoni with Soul Mates Photo.



*meaghan* said...

as a new nurse (and new at loving photography) i just have to tell you how amazing these pictures and blog posts have been. your work is great - and the experience you are having is inspiring. i hope i can do something like this someday. thank you for posting, i can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!


Natalie said...

I'm loving every bit of your posting! Thank you for taking the time to share! Now go get some sleep!

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