Quang Ngai, Vietnam—Michael Demian, Interplast associate director of foundation and corporate relations.
The day started off bright and early. We arrived at the hospital at 8 a.m. and found the patients already there, anxiously waiting. After getting situated and taking care of some last minute setup details, the first surgery began around 10 a.m. Eight surgeries in all were performed on Day 1, consisting of mostly palates and a few burn contracture releases.
Among the patients today was 3-year-old Quan. Quan received a cleft lip repair last year from the Interplast volunteers in Quang Ngai. This year, he has returned to fix his palate. Quan is a happy and playful 3-year-old who loves getting his picture taken. His farming family traveled two hours on motor bike with him so he could receive this surgery that will make it easier for him to develop proper speech. His mother is pregnant, so Quan will be a big brother soon!
Quan and his parents were featured in Interplast's Vietnam photo brochure last year, which included photos from photographer John Urban. In this picture here, Quan plays with the brochure that shows his photo from last year. Even before his palate surgery, one can see the dramatic difference that Interplast has made to this child's life over the past year.