Sheyla came from the nearby Santa Teresa orphanage, and is 5 1/2 years old. She had surgery last year by Interplast surgeons who operated on her cleft palate (she was in last year´s Interplast Cusco, Peru blog). This year she came back for a fistula repair, so that she may improve her speech. She was so sweet and beautiful, and sat very quietly while the doctors examined her. Unfortunately, she was not healthy enough for surgery, and will have to wait another year.
The region is extremely poor and has very little access to health care. Even if they had services available to them, they couldn’t possibly afford to pay for these surgeries themselves. We are very grateful that so many medical professionals are willing to donate their time and give their services to people who have so little. We are also grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) for providing the funding for this trip. RMHC helps people in the poorest regions of the world, and we are proud to partner with them.
My name is Heidi Huntsman, from Salt Lake City, Utah. While I have served on the Interplast board since June 2004, this is my first Interplast trip. We are visiting Cusco, Peru, which sits high in the Andes—more than 11,000 ft! Most of the indigenous people here are descendants of the Incans, which ruled the region until the mid-1500s. The region is extremely poor and has very little access to health care. Even if they had services available to them, they couldn’t possibly afford to pay for these surgeries themselves.
This is 1 1/2-year old Alan and his mother. He and his mother traveled many hours so that the doctors and nurses of interplast could operate on his cleft lip.