February 21, 2015
Jordi Baron, Regional Programs Director for Latin America, Operation Smile
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Just a few days ago, we were worried that we wouldn’t have the resources to help the hundreds of patients who would arrive for our medical mission here in Tegucigalpa. But when we opened the hospital doors Thursday morning, we were confident — knowing that because of supporters like you who helped us meet our recent fundraising goal, we’re able to help as many children as possible this week.
Over the last two days, medical volunteers from around the world worked tirelessly to provide 229 patients with comprehensive medical care and evaluations — for many this is the only time they’ll see a doctor all year. One of those patients was Ander Vasquez, a bright-eyed, cheerful little boy whom our team met last year during our mission here.
Just a year ago, Ander was dangerously underweight. He struggled to eat because of his cleft lip, and was so severely malnourished that our team in Honduras didn’t think he would survive without immediate treatment. But before they could operate safely, Ander needed to gain enough weight to be healthy for surgery.
Over the next several months, our team provided critical nutritional support and free medical consultation for Ander and his mother, Felipa, until he was healthy enough to safely receive surgery.
Today, Ander’s smile is incredibly bright. He and his mother are back at our mission in Tegucigalpa in hopes of receiving surgery for Ander’s cleft palate — which still makes it difficult for him to eat and speak properly. To the right you can see an adorable photo of Ander during his medical screening yesterday.
Over the next week our medical team here in Honduras will provide life-changing surgery — and beautiful new smiles — to over 125 patients including Ander. And I hope you know that without you, none of this joy would be possible.
From all of us here in Tegucigalpa, thank you for your support of Operation Smile.
Tags: Our Blog, Volunteer Stories, From the Field, Donor Stories, Patient Stories, Latin America & Caribbean