Originally uploaded by interplast
Phan Rang, Vietnam-Kathy Yates, Interplast board member.
Throughout our visit, we have been accompanied by a representative of the People's Commitee of the Vietnamese Socialist Government. We are here with the official sanction of the government, and the local People's Committee has been active in spreading the word about our visit. It was because of the Committee that another of our patients found us. A 63-year-old man, he has lived with a pronounced cleft lip all his life. After our clinic on Monday, a member of the Committee from another city heard that we were in town and contacted the man’s wife to tell her she should have her husband come down. He came in on Tuesday and just walked into the areas where we were keeping our records. He spotted one of our surgeons, Dr. Duke Hagerty, who was sitting on a bench taking a break from the surgeries of the day. The Vietnamese gentleman, Mr. Tran, came and sat down right next to Dr. Hagerty. There was no translator present. Dr. Hagerty just looked at the man and nodded his head, “Yes, we can help you.” Today Dr. Hagerty repaired the man’s lip. Twenty minutes of surgery, and the man was transformed. We brought in his wife. She liked what she saw! Due to his age the surgery was done under local anesthetic and Mr. Tran was discharged directly from the recovery room. The team had only a few minutes to admire the enormous change the surgery made to the man’s face, but all of us were a little misty-eyed when Mr. Tran and his wife walked out the door.