Ganzhou City, China - Some of the faces were familiar, as this is Interplast’s second trip to Ganzhou City. This little boy from the Xiao family had his cleft lip repaired by Interplast in 2005 and had returned to have his cleft palate repaired. Unfortunately, he had a low hemoglobin count and it would not be safe to operate. Interplast gave his parents some iron tablets to help with his anemia, with the hope that he will be healthy enough for palate surgery next year.
Personally, I was sad to learn that this child would not be coming back for surgery later in the week. When reviewing his chart Monday evening after all the patients had gone, I realized that his family name, Xiao, was the same Chinese character of my own son’s family name, Hsiao. It would have been nice to talk further, although I know Hsiao/Xiao is a common name in China.