Lima, Peru, 2014
Healing the Children Rocky Mountains returned to Sergio E. Bernales National Hospital in Lima, Peru for another medical mission abroad in November 2014. The mission was a big success. The team of 31, 20 of whom came from Colorado & Utah, screened 77 patients, performed 80 procedures on 59 patients - some patients receiving more than one procedure. Many of our patients were returning patients whom we had seen in past missions. It was a pleasure to be reunited with them and provide them with follow up care and secondary procedures.
Each year Healing the Children Rocky Mountains brings a special group of people with us that are non-surgical but whose work with the patients is imperative. Some call them the Speech Team, we call them the "dream team". This special group of ladies work with all the patients on many different levels. They provide straight forward speech therapy, basic sign language for non-verbal children so they can communicate with their caretakers, instruction on how to feed babies after they receive cleft surgeries which change the way they have eaten in the past, and so much more. Speech, eating and swallowing are the primary areas of life that are affected by a cleft lip or palate, not to mention the social stigma that follow a facial deformity. The speech team meets with every operative patient after surgery to give them "homework" and "exercises" to do to learn how to use their new and improved "equipment". These ladies are incredibly talented, educated, gifted clinicians who help each patient get the most out of their surgery, helping them be more functional and communicative with the world. We are so grateful for what they offer to our patients and our team.
Top: Zander giving Ann a flower. Middle: Lindsay Naylor, Mary Byrd, local med student Arturo, Shari Berkowitz, Helen Buhler, Linda Rollert. Bottom: Linda Rollert and Mary Byrd run through speech therapy drills with a patient after his surgery.