Quy Nhon, Vietnam—Mary Beth Yosses PACU RN, Interplast volunteer nurse
This is Pham Quynh with her 6-month-old daughter Anh Thu, who was born with a unilateral cleft lip. Dr. Rui Pereira meticulously repaired her cleft. Upon entering the recovery room, Thu’s mother broke down into tears. She was overcome with joy at the transformation that had just occurred to her precious chubby-cheeked child. Instantly, Thu’s mother reached for my hands to shake them, stroked my arms and repeatedly uttered her appreciation as I watched her daughter emerge from her anesthesia. I called Dr. Pereira over, who also received the mother’s appreciation. To his credit, Dr. Pereira let her know, through our fabulous, endlessly energetic interpreter, Lan, that his work was not done alone. He praised his Vietnamese counterpart, as well as the rest of the international team.
Despite the oppressive heat here in Quy Nhon, we all had a little extra spring in our step as we strolled home along the waterfront that evening. Pham Quaynh’s joy lifted our spirits like the breeze off of the South China Sea.