Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our last two days of visiting the ward!

We loved visiting the pediatric ward!  It was usually first thing in the morning or in the evening before heading back to our hotel.  Most children were a little apprehensive when we would show up- but  a few books, coloring pages/crayons and toys later...all smiles!

 Beautiful smile even before his surgery!

 This girl is 12 years old and has waited all her 12 years for surgery to correct her very severe cleft of the lip (and palate).  These are the most upsetting cases for me- that there is not a system in place in their country to meet the needs of these beautiful children (if not for missions); to go 12 years and to be so beautiful and bright...she deserves the smile of other 12 year olds in her community and school! I was not able to find out how her father heard of the mission team being in Dipolog, but usually it's because of the Rotary of Dipolog City getting the word out.  She was very shy (and I'm sure very scared!) but once we started playing MEMORY she was smiles and determined to win the game!  She read beautifully for Susan as her Papa sat and watched!  She had her surgery on Friday, after we left, so we did not get to see the after picture...I'll try and get a copy of it from someone on the team.  Her palate is also unrepaired so hopefully she'll return next year.
 Dr. Williams and nurses doing rounds on the ward...
 Most of the children do not bring books with them because I suspect they don't have any to bring!  Loved to watch them read (school instruction is primary in English and their dialect)!
 Aahhh...some sleep after her lip repair!  Usually parents are sleeping too since they tend to get the least amount of sleep!
 This is Syril- Susan and I watched Dr. Williams do his lip repair the night before!  Still a lot of swelling which will subside.  No smiling yet though!
 Gwen interpreting the home instructions following palate repair!
 This little trooper had his cleft palate repaired 2 days before, and still tried to muster a smile for the camera!  We hope to see him next year for speech follow up and possible speech therapy.

Gwen is a nurse at the hospital and speaks the dialect (and was our interpreter every day except the weekend). She transcribed very simple speech instruction for the children getting palate repairs on this mission for practice at home.  We instructed the parents to wait 3 weeks and then encourage some speech practice using BIG open vowels (to get that palate moving) and think about sounds that should go through their mouth and not the nose (like "p, b, and sh").  We hope to see them next year so we can check their speech and function of the palate after surgery.  Most children even in the USA still require some speech therapy following a palate repair.
 Dr. Geoff Williams making rounds and checking on all the patients in the ward!
 Games and book, games and books...that was the fun of the ward!
 Waiting her turn for surgery!
Parents too, love the books!! They almost always started to read the books to them as soon as they were given.  We distributed books on screening day and again when they were in the pediatric ward waiting for their surgery (or immediately after.)  We had enough books to leave some on the ward for the few children still arriving Friday night for Saturday's clinic and gave a few to Gwen to use in the Emergency Room (where Gwen works when not our interpreter!)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! The children are all so beautiful! Every story brought tears to my eyes.