Nhan is a one-year-old who lives with his grandmother (pictured right). He was born with a large cleft lip and palate and abandoned at birth by his father’s family. In Vietnam, if a child is born with a defect, the mother is blamed and her family has to take responsibility. Nhan was given to his maternal grandmother and has been raised by her in a very poor area on the Mekong Delta.
Phi, pictured left, is a local volunteer helping us in Cao Lanh. She lives in Ho Chi Minh City but searches for patients for us in poor villages. Phi heard about Nhan and arranged for the child and grandmother to travel four hours by bus. They arrived on our second week here, hoping we would have space on the schedule. As we pulled up to the hospital these three smiling faces greeted us, and as luck would have it, our first case was canceled that day so we had room on our schedule.
Nhan had not eaten or had anything to drink, so it was safe to proceed with anesthesia. By 9 a.m. that same morning, Nhan had a brand new beautiful upper lip, thanks to Phil and the ReSurge team. Even better, Nhan's mother and father were also at the hospital to see him emerge a new baby. In an unprecedented show of emotion, Nhan’s grandmother hugged Dr. Ronald Worland, Nhan’s surgeon, when he came to give her the good news.