The day we have been preparing for has finally come! This week, a group of doctors from Geisinger Medical Center arrived at MBHOH to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries for some of the children on the second floor, affectionately dubbed “the Smile Floor.” Mikey, our MBHOH Liaison, writes about the team’s first few days:
“The Geisinger team arrived safely late Friday night and didn’t waste a minute before they ran up to check out the operating room. The most used phrase was ‘Wow…this is more than we expected!’ After a tour of the stations that will be used this week, everyone settled down for a good night’s sleep.
“We started Saturday at the ‘late’ hour of 8am. For the rest of the week, work will begin at 6am. The team jumped right in by sorting 12 suitcases full of equipment they brought with them, which took most of the morning. At lunch, Dr. DeSantis gave an amazing presentation informing all of us on what the process of surgery and healing for these children will be like. I personally was very impressed and happy to be able to sit in on the lecture. As we celebrated (Show Hope staff person) David Trask’s birthday cake at lunch, he made a comment I think is worth sharing. ‘I have worked with some of the biggest rock stars of my day, but this (the surgeries) is the highlight of my life. Its not about what you have done, it’s about what you are doing.’
“In the afternoon, the team examined the babies that were pre-identified for surgery to make sure their health was good. It was really cool to actually know what I was looking at when they examined the children, and how they would fix it.
“Sunday began early with coffee mugs in hand. We prayed in an empty room next to the OR for safety, that everything would go well, that we wouldn’t get in the way of God’s work, and that God would keep his hand over the children. After the prayer, Skyler was brought in and put under anesthesia. After about 3 hours the team emerged from the OR and Skyler had a freshly repaired cleft lip. Everyone crowded around to see her with huge smiles on their faces.
“The doctors and OR staff took a short break to talk about the surgery and how things went, and then were ready to begin the second surgery. Oliver, who had a more complicated bilateral cleft lip, was brought in. I was honored to be able to watch the entire procedure. It was one of the highlights of my life. I know for the doctors and nurses it’s something they do nearly on a daily basis, but for me it was literally a 5-year dream come true to watch a cleft surgery performed, knowing the impact it will have on the lives of these children. It was amazing to watch the doctors work earnestly for another 3 hours!
“It was truly awesome to see every part of the team working together for these children: The nannies caring for the children before and after, the nurses prepping the children, the anesthesia team putting the child under, the doctor and nurses performing the procedure, and the post-op team moving right in to make sure the baby was stable and had everything he/she needed.”
We are constantly amazed that Show Hope sponsors support this incredible work at MBHOH and that we are given the opportunity care for these children with special needs. We can’t wait to bring you even more information about the progress of the surgical team!
Pre-surgical exams - Oliver