My name is Sara Hirsch, and I have had the privilege of accompanying my husband, Interplast board member Russell Hirsch, on this My Tho trip. I think most surprising to me today was just the personality that comes out of all of these children. You look at their damaged faces, and you see through their eyes and their smiles how real and alive they are. As they sit here for this many hours, you see the energy and the fear in them — all the emotions beneath the surface. They are different, but they are just children, like any children. I am also touched by the parents; they are so dedicated to having their children repaired no matter what it takes, and you can see the energy they put into making sure they’re child is given a chance for a life-changing surgery.
It was a little overwhelming when we walked into the courtyard this morning, with all eyes on us, and it was interesting to me the reactions the parents had to the camera, and they pushed their children up to the camera. They seemed to believe that if we took their child’s picture, we might select that child for surgery.