We met Rolando over a year ago, when he was just under a year old...he was so tiny and so fragile, underweight (hard for cleft lip babies to nurse)...we got him through all his aspiration pneumonias, put weight on him, got him to OpSmile last year when they came to Panama but he developed a fever and had to postpone...for a year...Two days ago we brought him back again, across the water from Isla Popa II to Bocas, from Bocas over a 5,000 foot tall mountain range to the other side of the continent, and today at 3PM the surgical team repaired his lip AND palate!!
Thank you OpSmile, you guys are AWESOME!!!
His mom Noris is one of the greatest moms we have encountered ANYWHERE--a true example of putting your kids first as a parent...she had never been to the mainland before our first trip last year, never been in a car or a city, never seen a building with more than one floor...I will NEVER forget driving over the mountains, walking into the 8 story hospital in a city of 1 million, where the doors automatically opened, and seeing her brace herself as the elevator we were in started to move....so much overwhelming new stuff, and she has sooooo much dignity and determination. This is what it means when your patients trust you...and what can be accomplished when they do!
I can't wait to show Rolando these pictures when he is older...I wonder what his future will hold...Can't wait to see. I've been his doctor for more than half his life...I always admired my dad's relationship with patients he had for 30 years or more.This is why I spent all that time studying medicine in the first place...this is the salary I take from Floating Doctors, the pay that cannot be taxed and can never be taken from me, the pay that makes me feel like the richest man in the world.
Dr. Benjamin LaBrot
In the first 4 mobile deployments of our spring season, we have treated identified a 14 and 15 year old girl with Hepatitis B, a woman covered in a thin layer of scabies over her entire body, a woman lying on the floor of her home crippled by a parasite, and many children dehydrated from diarrhea. One young boy who we maintained on anti-seizure medication for almost a year is now seizure free for over 6 months after we stopped the medication. We have coordinated several emergency interventions and participated in an HIV screening in the Comarca.
A long-term patient of ours, a two-year-old Ngobe Indian boy, who suffers from a complete cleft lip and cleft pallet was transported to David- Panama’s second largest city. While there he was evaluated by the Operation Smile team and will now be included in April’s surgical cleft pallet intervention with Op Smile.
To widen our effectiveness we are adding an additional follow-up visit day the same week as our mobile clinics, and our first major group of the year is coming in two weeks! Thanks for all your help everyone, help us meet our goal in time for the summer season! As the weather continues to improve, we will be ramping up our visits to communities in the mountains, mangroves and river systems here to continue making medical care available to our patients.
This holiday season, the best gift you can give is the gift of health!
We are really excited to be a part of the GlobalGiving community!
As the rainy season closes in on us here in Panama (with a vengeance...12 days of continuous heavy rain!), both our patients and all of us are trying to stay dry...this is the season for mud, fungal infections, pneumonia and fevers and the communities we serve endure with incredible dignity and courage.
We have a lot to be thankful for, so at this time of celebration of our good fortune please remember that you are not alone--your brothers and sisters are here too.
Please take a moment to celebrate your good fortune by extending a hand to those without--the cost of a sandwich every month can change lives forever.
The greatest investment in the future is investing in health! Happy Holidays everyone!
"Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every person has to seek in his own way to make his own self more noble and to realize his own true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man.
Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who have need of a man's help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
For, remember, you don't live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too." --Albert Schweitzer Nobel Peace Prize winner, 1952
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