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Hope in Cambodia

The day of our flight, I’m filled with a sea of emotions. I am so nervous and anxious; I begin labeling and excessively organizing my belongings. I wonder what will I see this time and will break my heart, again. These missions are always so sobering for me. This is

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June 25th- Last Day of Surgery

It is the last day of Surgery for the Plasticos Team in Siem Reap, Cambodia. When the medical instruments are cleaned and put away, and each patient is in the ward- recovering, we will have performed more than 50 surgical procedures on 20 patients. This is not the usual trip

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5th Day of Surgery

I must confess something.  I’ve developed a crush on a Khmer boy named Boran Buon. He was admitted to the children’s ward for a pre op about half hour ago.  What struck me about him was that since the first clinic day, he was smiling.  He was the only kid

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Harsh Reality

Our 3rd Day at the Angkor Hospital for Children demonstrated the reality of delivering medical care in Cambodia. A young boy was brought to the hospital the previous day with acute abdominal pain, and during the following 24 hours, the child rapidly decompensated and went into septic shock. They were

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So close yet so far…

Despite the many reconstructive surgical missions that I have been on, I always dread the haunting feelings the patient and I experience when I am unable to help. This by far is the hardest situation that I and other Plasticos Team members experience. I am not referring to patients with

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Screening day

9 ‘o clock AM. It is a beautiful day at the Angkor Children’s hospital. The blazing sun bakes my skin, sticky from the engulfing, inescapable humidity.  Step into the screening room.  Ahhhh – “the refuge,” as Paul calls it – at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.  On the other side of the

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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in Cambodia

Our mission is bittersweet. Yesterday, with the help of two Cambodian surgeons, I unlocked the hidden hand of a quiet and beautiful 7 year old girl named Samuth . In the Cambodian language of Khmer, the word for beautiful is pronounced Sa’ad. The irony and double entendre was that her

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Second Day of Surgery- 4th Day

Today is our fourth day at the Angkor Hospital for Children.  The sky is overcast threatening rain as the Plasticos team walk to the Hospital already at 7:30 AM, the heat and humidity are stifling as we enter a side door into a hallway, past the surgical ward to the

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First Day of Surgery- 3rd Day

The team started the day at 7AM with anticipation for the first day of surgery. We walked over to the Hospital, a mere 3 blocks from the hotel, and set up for a full day. There is an ease about working in the Angkor Hospital. When entering the hospital the

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