On February 23, 2019, 22 volunteer medical specialists embarked on a medical mission, with Operation San Jose, travelling to Monterrey, Mexico to help children and their families find hope in their smiles.
The volunteers saw more than 100 children under the age of 18. The children all suffered from various degrees of cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies. The children have limited finances and limited access to medical services to correct their dysplasia. Some patients had cleft lip abnormalities, cleft palate, craniosynostosis, hemifacial macrosomia, vascular malformation and plagiocephaly that were never addressed. The common thread among all the children was that their malformation was having an effect on their everyday lives.
Abnormalities like these are not unusual in Mexico and Central America. The lack of access to healthcare leads to fewer medical visits and medical tests for expectant mothers, new mothers and newborns.
“You get there and you get to meet all these people with incredible complications, from simple cleft palates to multiple deformations,” said Dr. Martha Lozano, MD, FAAP, a volunteer with Operation San Jose. “Then you get to see them five days after the surgeries have been completed with a full surgical group.
The changes in their lives are incredible. Some parents have cried and said this is not my child. This would have never been able to be done for my child, if it were not for your generosity.”