Monday, September 19, 2005

Day three for team 2 has brought many wonderful surprises. Our team is well oiled today and working like clockwork. Drs. Argenta, David and Sanger have done work today that has made much magic. Today was surgery day for our little girl from Xinjiang who has a facial deformity which has misshapen her beautiful little face and caused an ear deformity that is quite severe. She is absolutely beautiful and has the personality that would melt huge icebergs! Dr. Argenta did a side cleft repair on her mouth which none of us had ever seen. Her cleft was to the side of her jaw rather than the top and it had caused a lot of pulling and misshaping of her face. She came out of surgery with a smile on her face and a perfect relaxed lip and cheek for the first time in her life. We gave her a mirror when she came into the recovery room and she just glowed. Even though she was in some big pain she was one happy little girl!! We all had to leave the room and shed tears to see that kind of pure happiness.

Next up on the miracle list was Dr. David’s surgery on the severe burn survivor. This young man was orphaned when a fireworks factory sadly exploded and killed his entire family as well as burning him over a large part of his body. The surgery that he is receiving is to close his eye sockets to prevent further damage to his eyes. His scarring is very severe and we all wish there was more that we could do for him. Dr. David and Argenta will make a cast to carry back to the US to make a mask for him to wear that will hopefully lessen the scarring over a period of time. We are all praying that it will help. He is a quiet little boy who has already been through so very much in his short life.

The children are sailing through surgery today. We are much better organized today and our nurses are watching the children in the ward so closely. They are helping the kids drink as much as possible as the more hydrated a child is, the less pain they have. The kids are literally bounding up by the next morning. Even the doctors are impressed.

Our greatest story today is about Cui Cui. Cui Cui is a young girl 19 years old whose peasant father brought to the orphanage seeking a repair for his daughter who he obviously adores. She has been the dearest young woman and she has touched all of our hearts. We cannot wait to see how beautiful she is when she is done with surgery. She had a very severe bi-lateral cleft which I am sure has caused her much pain and teasing. In spite of her cleft she just shines with goodness and kindness and we have all fallen head over heels in love with her. Last night we found that Cui Cui is sitting soon for her college board exams. She will be graduating this year and is a top student in her class. Her father is so proud of her and has devoted his life to his three children who he says will all graduate from college to break the circle of poverty. He is a humble and inspirational man who has brought most of us to tears in admiration of his spirit.

As a group, all of team two has bonded to make this girl’s dreams come true and have decided to sponsor Cui Cui’s education and her future. We have agreed to start a fund so that next year when she starts school she will have all the funding she needs to achieve her dream of a degree in science and engineering. She is brilliant. I am so proud of this team and their spirit. Cui Cui has brought a spirit to our team that we could never have found without her. Her father fell to his knees thanking us for this honor. We fell to our knees thanking him for the honor of being allowed to participate in his dream.

Team 2 – 9/19/05