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An Unexpected Note in Our Inbox

Interplast burn sister
**UPDATE: Here's the photo of the man with his sister.**  As our volunteer medical team headed home after two weeks in Dehradun, India, we in Mountain View, California (where Interplast is headquartered) received the following email from a patient’s brother.  Reading his note made us all a little extra proud to be working at Interplast.

I've already met your team members here in Dehradun.  In fact it was a chance meeting at the Dehradun Airport where I had gone to see some of my family members off to Kolkata. Because of the inclement weather, their flight was not being confirmed. And I was quite worked up since cancellation of the flight meant missing the connecting flight from Delhi to Kolkata. Many such weird thoughts were crossing my mind when I received a phone call from my sister who had also come to the airport and was sitting at the other end of the lounge, she wanted me to come over to her. On reaching there I found her talking to a gentleman. She introduced the gentleman to me as one Dr. Kush.  In turn I also introduced myself.  Dr Kush informed me that a team of specialists were reaching Dehradun just then and he was at the Airport to receive them. He told me that a camp was being organized by an NGO called Interplast. Seeing my sister with burn contractures on her neck and lower lip, Dr. Kush wanted me to bring her to the camp the following morning for a possible corrective surgery.

And thus began my introduction with Interplast. Today, I'm immensely pleased to tell you that my sister was operated upon last Thursday and has since been discharged from the hospital and is recuperating fast. I am really touched by the love and care with which they treated one and all alike without distinction.

I wish to place on record my profound sense of gratitude to the each and every member of the Interplast team for the love and care showered on one and all.

Thank You, Interplast!!

Upgraded Operating Facilities

Dehradun, India - Nicole Friedland, Interplast chief development officer.

Big improvements for the patients and the team this year! Dr. Kush Aeron, Interplast's international partner in Dehradun, has arranged for the team to perform surgeries in the state hospital where he works. The chief minister of the state of Uttarakhand authorized the use after a recent meeting with Dr. Kush, Dr. Scott Corlew, Interplast chief medical officer and Susan Hayes, Interplast president and CEO.

Previously, surgeries have taken place at New Disha Hospital, a small two-bed clinic run by Dr. Kush and Dr. Yogi Aeron, Interplast surgical outreach director. We feel fortunate to stretch out in the safe and large space of this impressive hospital.

Dr. Kush and Dr. Yogi have done an amazing job of preparing for the team, as always.

Wai-Ling Eng: Bright Future in Dehradun

Dehradun, India - Wai-Ling Eng, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) board member.

It was very gratifying to return to Dehradun, India and see the progress that has occurred since my visit last year. The two-bedroom house that used to be the surgical site is now the clinic where dressing changes and minor procedures are performed (a much better use for the space). The area provided by the state hospital is so much better—I can already see the possibilities of expanding this location for more work. The future of this program looks bright.

The people in this region have been relying on these services for years. Many of them have been returning yearly to have much needed work done; what would they do if we are not here? That's why I am proud that RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities) has been a consistent, multi-year supporter of this program that has impacted so many lives and in such significant ways.

It will be interesting to proceed to Nepal and see the possibilities there.


Riya Before Surgery
Originally uploaded by interplast

Dehradun, India-Nicole Friedland, Interplast chief development officer.

First-up for surgery this morning is Riya, an adorable little girl who fell into a pot of boiling water at the age of two. After the accident, Riya’s elbow began contracting, as most unattended burn wounds tend to do so. With the surgery provided by the Interplast team, Riya will have full use of her arm and hand. Both Riya and her mother were in happy moods this morning, seemingly not nervous at all about the surgery to come.

Meet Our Dehradun, India, Team

All scrubbed-up and ready to get to work, our medical volunteer team has begun its first day of operations in Dehradun.

Regional collaboration and partnerships are important aspects of how we work. Both Dr. Hien Thi Nguyen, anesthesiologist and Interplast’s surgical outreach director in Vietnam, and Dr. Shankar Man Rai, surgeon and surgical outreach director in Nepal, have joined the team to India. Additionally, Lekharaj Niroula, a hand therapist at the outreach center in Nepal, is participating on an Interplast volunteer team for the first time.

First Volunteer Medical Team of the Season Heads to India

Some paced the hallways of San Francisco International Airport, just hours before their flight’s departure. Others intently discussed survival strategies for their upcoming 18-hour flight. Regardless of how they chose to pass the time between boarding and the plane’s departure, Interplast’s medical volunteers all shared the same excitement.

The team is headed to Dehradun, India, where they will work alongside their local medical colleagues to provide free reconstructive surgery to those in need. Accompanying the medical team are Emil Wang, Interplast board member, and Wai-Ling Eng, a board member of Ronald McDonald House Charities, a key partner and sponsor of Interplast’s work.

Through this blog, we will bring you updates on the team and stories of the patients they meet during their time there.

To our volunteers, thank you and have a safe flight!

Read stories from our 2009 Dehradun team trip here.

Global Health