Free Surgeries 12,700 Feet above Sea Level

Bolivia was one of the first countries served by the newly-created ICSF in early 2006. Eighteen Bolivian missions later, Dr. Williams recounts, “LaPaz is so high in elevation that I have always had a little trouble sleeping at nights due to the lower oxygen levels.

“That aside, we have had some of our most rewarding experiences there. Some of our families travel for more than a day to reach us. The mothers and fathers are the most expressive parents in the world. They frequently grab me by the arm and vociferously and tearfully express their gratitude after the surgeries.

Ruth before surgery

Eight-year-old Ruth, with permanent hair loss due to a scalp scald burn at age four.

Ruth after surgery

Ruth after two-stage scalp expansion using a silicone tissue expander involving two surgeries, four months apart.

“We have been able to do very complicated multistage operations in Bolivia” (see Ruth, above) “because of my Bolivian plastic surgeon friend who follows the patients year round.”

ICSF traveled to Bolivia directly from Pucallpa, Peru, where a wide variety of patients were also treated—a record number, in fact.

Noemi before surgery

Three-month-old Noemi, of Bolivia

Noemi after surgery

Noemi after surgery

Design by Melissa Ventura, Development by Drew Bertola and Walter Martin.