Sara Anderson, ReSurge's chief communications and advocacy officer
Cao Lanh, Vietnam
Imagine your heartbreak if your child had a deformity and you had no means to help her, simply because you were poor. Imagine your grief if you thought you could finally get your daughter’s cleft lip fixed because of the charity of others, only to find out that the medical teams could not perform the surgery after all because your child had a small and unusual airway that made it impossible to intubate and provide anesthesia. Imagine your sadness and frustration if this happened to you … not once, but three times.
That is what happened to Thi Kim’s parents. However, they were tenacious about getting help for their daughter. Earlier this month, Thi Kim and her parents sought surgery again and this time, their story ended happily. Expert pediatric anesthesiologist Dr. George Gregory had researched Thi Kim’s case and had conferred with his colleagues back home and with his fellow volunteer team anesthesiologists on the ground in Cao Lanh.
On April 5, 2-year-old Thi Kim was intubated … and then her cleft lip was repaired. Her mother was thrilled with the result, thrilled that her daughter could now lead a normal, productive life. Our anesthesiologists were pretty happy too!