ICSF Begins the New Year in the Phillipines: Completes Six Missions in the First Quarter of 2009
In the short span of January through March, 122 children and young adults in three countries, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Mexico, received free surgery by the International Children’s Surgical Foundation.
The first stop, Kabankalan, Philippines, saw ICSF volunteers from Kansas City team up with Boise doctors and nurses. Kesh Brown, RN; Kevin Kartchner, MD; Kelli McDaniel, CRNA; Fleur Moya, RN; Emily Price, CRNA; and Geoff Williams, MD operated six days a week for two weeks. These days were long, usually lasting until 10:00 pm or later, but the team was able to provide free surgery for 36 children!
One of the patients was 1-year-old Riza Baguna. “Riza was horribly malnourished to the point that I would ordinarily have chosen not to operate due to healing concerns. Although she was a year old, she was the size and weight of a 2-month old,” comments Dr. Williams. “I felt so sorry for Riza and her mother, though, that I consulted with Dr. Kartchner and decided to operate. Thankfully the surgery went well, and we bought some special medical formula for her to take postoperatively. It was heartwarming to see Riza guzzle the formula and heal beautifully. In fact, reports from our ICSF nurse in the Philippines are that Riza still loves (and guzzles!) the formula and has gained an incredible 50% in weight over the 5 weeks since surgery.
“The hospital and mayor invited us back next year - in fact, we are returning to the Philippines twice to different cities in the next three months," says Dr. Williams. "I think it is our method of providing careful, detailed surgery and after-care, as well as the individualized attention like the kind we gave to Riza, that prompts all of the invitations. The local hospitals are not used to this style of mission -they love it.”