Cao Lanh, Vietnam - In 1989 in Ho Chi Minh City, Anne Phong Nguyen’s boyfriend, jealous and possessive, threw sulfuric acid on her face and body, leaving her severely disfigured and limited in movement. After five months in the hospital and more than 50 surgeries over the next decade, Anne is devoted to helping other acid burn victims and those in need of reconstructive surgery in developing countries.
Using her two weeks of vacation from her job in Lansing, Michigan, Anne regularly volunteers as a translator and surgical trip coordinator for Interplast. Anne believes the tragic event she suffered gives her extra strength and self-confidence. As she compassionately works with the patients, it is clear that Anne has a special connection and empathy with others. Interplast is grateful for her service. In Cao Lanh, Anne holds and comforts Phat Tan before his surgery for ptosis, a condition which effects the eyelid and ones ability to see.
Cao Lanh, Vietnam - Teaching continued in the PACU, the recovery room. Elise Getting, PACU nurse from Boston, explains to local recovery nurse Linh how to treat burn wounds, while Tu Van’s mother listens.
Cao Lanh, Vietnam - Dong Thap General Hospital’s medical staff is wonderful and very eager to learn and practice their craft. Local surgeons and nurses are always in the operating room. Here is Ben explaining the procedure to Dr. Hoa and scrub nurses Trung and Van.
Surgeon Dong Thap’s Dr. Hien was the first assist or the primary surgeon; an Interplast plastic surgeon at the table in case he was needed, but she did several cleft lips and palates; it was a great opportunity to see Interplast education and empowerment mission in action.
This beautiful 9-year-old was born with an extra thumb (polydactyly, which makes it difficult for her to write. She also always hides her hand, as children in school tease her. The surgeons will operate to remove the extra digit.