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Outstanding Team


  Outstanding Team 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast Staff. Photo by John Urban.

Here's a picture of the incredible volunteers who made all this work possible. These individuals give up two weeks of their lives, work under exhausting circumstances and often give up pay at home to be in Vietnam. They have operated on about 80 patients and dramatically changed hundreds of lives. The tears of gratitude from patients really have said it all. What a team!

The Kindness of Our Patients


  The Kindness of Our Patients 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast Staff. Photo by John Urban.

To will be staying with her aunt who lives nearby for the next few nights. (To, her aunt and I are pictured here.) Her aunt is beautiful and likes to play shy with the photographer, playfully punching his arm when he manages to sneak a shot.

They will return for To's check-up on Friday. She will then have a two-day journey home. Each time To sees us, she reaches out her hand to take ours.

A Thankful Patient


  A Thankful Patient 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast Staff. Photo by John Urban.

To is feeling very happy today. She was excited when they finished the surgery and she was eager to see the results. Dr. Del Mount gave her a mirror and said it was a wonderful moment. She had very little skin between her top lip and nose, so the restoration is fairly tight. The Interplast doctors told her to come back next year, when the skin will be more loose, for a revision.

Translators Have a Difficult Job


  Translators Have a Difficult Job 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban.

Lien is one of our translators / coordinators. In addition, she is a nurse educator, so she is uniquely skilled at working with the patients. The other translator is Kim, whose had an extensive career working with cardiologists. I'm pretty sure the translators have the hardest job on the trip. They are pulled in every direction and have to function in two cultures and languages. They not only take care of the patients and translate important information about procedures and care, but they coordinate and care for all of the logistics relating to team members. From getting food brought in for lunch breaks to prepping patients for surgery, making rounds with the doctors, reassuring anxious parents and discharging patients with proper instruction and medicines, Kim and Lien have worked non-stop and been true heroes.

Here you see Lien in the post-op ward discussing care with Quyen, who had her wrist contracture released.

Before Cleft Repair


  Before Cleft Repair 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban.

Huynh was another adorable baby whose cleft lip was repaired by the team.

A Thankful Mother


  A Thankful Mother 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban.

Her mother was happy to have her daughter's hand repaired. She had a good time trying to teach several of us how to say 'Thank You' and 'Hello' in Vietnamese. It's harder than you think!

Repaired Hand


  Repaired Hand 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban

This sweet 12-year-old girl burned her fingers when she was 3 years old.  Her family was making caramel candy and she fell right into it, burning the last three fingers of her right hand.  Her fingers fused together and contracted.

A Mother's Love


  A Mother's Love 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban

Off to surgery he went, and after about an hour, I went out to bring the mother back to PACU.  Nurse Lynn Fronk held up baby for mom to see and she just burst in to tears.  Dr. Mount had repaired the lip and while the baby will need future surgery, this simple procedure made a dramatic difference in the child's appearance.  About an hour later, we went down to the ward and I found the mother holding her baby and still crying.

Dramatic Difference


  Dramatic Difference 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban

After a restful weekend, the team was re-energized and looking forward to a full day of patients today.  Our first case was a baby, 7 months old, with a significant cleft palate and lip running all the way to his nostril.  This little baby was adorable - a love bug.  As we talked to him and his mom, he kept laughing and smiling.  What a
sweetie!  His gum line was protruding out of his mouth, almost like a little snout, and if he'd had his teeth in they would have been sticking straight out.  As a mother, it must be terribly hard to have such an adorable baby whose face may repel others.  We could tell he was such a sweet and loving child.

Giang Now with Dr. Deb Rusy


  Giang Now with Dr. Deb Rusy 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Quang Ngai, Vietnam-Nicole Friedland, Interplast staff. Photo by John Urban

Giang’s parents remember Dr. Deb Rusy, our anesthesiologist who also was on the trip two years ago.  I'm excited that we're able to help Giang continue in her healing.