I will be traveling to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to provide Anesthesia care for the Operation Smile medical mission trip.
Operation Smile is a a huge organization that provides cleft lip and cleft palate surgery areas across the world, where families may not have access to the finances or resources to this type of surgical care. They have provide over 220,000 free surgical procedures in their 32 year existence. I am honored to be a part of this team.
The trip departs February 18th, 2015. The plan is to perform about 175 surgeries on 8 beds.
Cleft lip and cleft palate is a congenital disorder where the upper lip or upper palate in the mouth fail to fuse properly in utero. The child is born with a slit in the area that impacts how he or she can feed, speak and breath. This is the most common craniofacial anomaly, and even here in the United States, this occurs in every 1 and 700 births. In the US, this problem is repaired at an early age, often in staged procedures.
There are over 3 billion people around the world who do not have access to this type of medical care. In these areas, children born with craniofacial defects live from the medical and social hardships that come from a birth sentence. Isolation and hardship is common for children who find it a struggle to perform the most uplifting activity offered to humanity- Smile.
The impact of this surgery lasts a lifetime and I cannot wait to play a small role in helping this cause.
More info on the organization can be found at the Operation Smile website.