Than is a young man that's was born without a left ear. He was teased a lot about it by his schoolmates. Last year we began the process of building him an ear by using cartiledge from his ribs. He returned to the team this year to have the next step. This time we placed a skin graft behind the cartiledge to lift it from his head.
- Before the skin graft
He will need another procedure next year to complete things.
The first patient we did was a 14 year old from one of the mountain villages. He had not gone to school because the other children teased him. Because the family lives so far, they had never made it to one of the many teams that come to the country. We were told to do him the first day because he might leave.
Don't usually talk about the trip, but this was an interesting adventure. Snow to get to the airport. Canceled flight. Rebooked with good connections only to spend an hour on the ground in Hartford thus missing the rebooked Washington connection by about 15 min. Fly to Newark to catch the original flight the next day. Did arrive to help with the afternoon of the screening clinic. We have about 50 patients scheduled. Dinner was provided by the nuns at a local Buddhist monastery.
The last day was spent doing some touring in the area of
Guiyang with two college students who were some of our interpreters during the
last three days.They are international
relations majors and will be studying in England next year.It was fun to learn a bit about their
lives.They are both female and single
children of parents who both work.
Our first stop was a park along a small river.
After walking for about an hour, we had lunch at a local
restaurant with “country food”.It was a
nice change from the more formal meals.
We then went to a center for the study of Confucianism.It was built with government money,and will be a place to teach children the
skills promoted by Confucius, writing, manners, music.
Entrance to the center with our two students
At the end we saw a video that gave a brief history and then
ended by saying how China wanted to be a world leader in promoting the
principles of Confucianism.These
include respect for nature and fellow humans.Of course this is somewhat contradicted by their current suppression of
minority groups.It has also been very
frustrating how blocked the Internet is.One cannot Google anything. I was out of reading material and wanted to
get a book from Amazon.Could not do
that.Have not had access to my New York
Times the entire trip.
Today I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Shao Min.She is about 45 and is from Guiyang where we
are working.She went to medical school
here and then went to Shanghi for her plastic surgery training.
We did two cases with me as surgeon and then I helped her
with the last one and with the pointers that I gave her in the first cases did
an excellent job.We then had a lively
discussion about other aspects of cleft surgery.
Well it is back to work.We are now in the city of Guiyang which has a population of 30 million
or the equivalent of the state of California.We are working in a Stomatology Hospital.Itis
primarily a dental hospital, but in most of China it is where the cleft care is
done.We saw about 30 patients with the
local surgeons, orthodontist, and speech therapist.Once again the goal is to help them establish
a center for the care of these children in a coordinated manner.Of these six were thought to be good teaching
cases and will be done with the local surgeons.
Some of the kids cooperated with us and were not so happy to
This child presents with a complication that will be very
difficult to correct.