From November 22-December 1, 2013, MMFC’s team of 18 volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, speech pathologists, and administrators returned to Cajamarca, Peru for a week of cleft surgeries and dental care.
In one week the team completed 46 surgical procedures, including repairs of 14 primary cleft lips, 8 primary cleft palates, and 5 lip revisions. In addition, 145 dental procedures were done, including 11 under general anesthesia. Our speech therapist gave 16 speech therapy sessions as well as 43 consults.
One of the most interesting patient stories from this week was of Maria Angelina and Magali Davila (below). Magali is Maria’s niece, and they are both from Bolivar. It took them four days to travel to Cajamarca, including a day and a half of walking. Maria’s brother (Magali’s father) joined them on the journey to Es Salud hospital in Cajamarca. Magali is in her first year of primary school. Unlike Magali, Maria is mentally challenged, has never gone to school, and does not know how to read or write. They live in a very rural community where outside communication is limited, and even a telephone signal in rare. They found out about MMFC’s mission from a radio broadcast and decided to make the long trek together. Maria and Magali both received surgery to repair their bilateral cleft lips, making the journey to Cajamarca all worth it.
MMFC would like to thank the Helpers of the Mentally Retarded and the Hess Foundation for their donations toward this mission.