Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator:I think Gonzalo was the friendliest,most outgoing and affectionate child we saw during our two weeks in Cusco. Gonzalo was there to have a revision on his cleft lip surgery that was performed by our host, Mario Cornejo several months prior to our visit. During their wait, it was obvious that he and his mom had a very loving relationship. Although Gonzalo was missing an arm from birth, he did not let it stop him from accomplishing what he wanted to do.
I'd like to add a special thanks to Klutz, the children's publishing company, for donating many of the arts and crafts supplies used to occupy the kids while they waited for their life changing surgeries. They are the best!!!
Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator: On most Interplast trips, the only "after" pictures we get of patients look like this. One can see that Julio's cleft lip has been repaired, but the dried blood, surgical tape and stitches don't highlight the impact of Interplast's work.
Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator: They treated her with the necessary antibiotics and several days later Miriam was feeling much better. It seemed like a miracle to us. Although she still would need several skin grafts and time for healing, we actually saw her smile for the first time and she thanked the doctors. Later in the week, the doctors were able to perform a skin graft on her and we were thrilled to hear her say afterwards "Tengo hambre" (I'm hungry)!!! Although we have left Cusco, I know Miriam will still be in our thoughts.
Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator: Miriam was on everyone's mind while we were at the hospital. When we arrived, our host had asked our doctors to see if they could help her, as she had been in the hospital for over three months due to burns she suffered all over her body from falling into a fire after a seizure. When we first saw Miriam, she was in total agony both physically and mentally. We truly did not know if she had the will to live, as she was suffering with pain. During the early part of our trip, our doctors brought her to the operating room to change her bandages and observed she had an infection throughout her body.
Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator: She had been in the hospital for more than a month and finally was able to be released. For the next week, she would be lodging at her sister's place in Cusco so she could return for follow up care. Then Sara would travel 8 hours by bus to return home. If there was a Miss Congeniality award, Sara would receive it for her kindness to the other children and adults in the hospital.
Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator: Sara wasn't a complainer, not even as nurse Barb was shaving her head so the doctors could perform rotation flap surgery on her. She was 17-years-old and was recovering from a terrible head lesion she suffered when she was hit by a car while riding her bike.
Cusco, Peru - Sheila Wolfson, coordinator / translator: Rosa Maria and I were very impressed with the bright, cheerful and clean social areas in the orphanage as well as the lovely dormitory rooms organized by age groups. These children, although separated from their “birth” families, truly had a family at the home.