Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Austin Smiles Puebla Trip 9/29/14

What a day!

The first team arrived at the hospital around 6:30 AM Monday morning for the first day of surgeries. After some searching we were able to round up the eight patients scheduled for today. The ages range from as young as 6-months up to 5 years. All the families seemed to be in high spirits and excited, yet nervous for the upcoming operation.

The medical team was on point this morning, which makes sense since the Austin Smiles Puebla team is full of veterans. We have team members who have been attending these trips for 27-years. The two surgeons have been working together for about 20-years.

Here is a quick look at the Austin Smiles roster:

Team Leader: Jim Cullington

Mission Diretor: Leilani Briseño

Anes Team Leader: Stan Young

Mission Admin: Martha Mashburn

Operating Room 1:

Plastic Surgeon: Jim Cullington

CRNA: Brittan King

CST/Scrub: Stella Denny

RN Circulator: Liz Fox

Operating Room 2:

Plastic Surgeon: Dr. Teichgraeber

CRNA: Joey Rogers

CST/Scrub: Andrea Guidry

RN Circulator: Tim Simecek

Anesthesiologist FLOAT

Paula Rushing

Quint Barns

PACU (Recovery Room):

RN: Gayle Cullington

RN: Pat Meheriuk

RN: Cindy Thomas

RN: Angie Englert

Surgical Support:

Instruments: Tom Kirk


Photographer: Molly Gardner

Admin Computer: Christian Schley

Blogger: Dax Patton

Pre-Operative / Triage / Post-Op:

RN: Ashley Chitty

RN: Melissa Reyes


Spanish Translator: Deborah Kirk

Spanish Translator: Joe Gomez

Volunteer: Anthony Gomez

Volunteer: Forest Cook

Volunteer: Beau Theriot

Both the medical and non-medical staff did a great job! It’s tough going into a new location for the first time, but everyone did their part to make things work. We completed six surgeries and ended up pushing two of the patients back tin order to keep the team fresh from an already 13+ hour day.

Austin Smiles had a special visit today from Martha Erika Alonso, the wife of Rafael Moreno Calle, Governor of Puebla. She welcomed Austin Smiles, thanked us for our efforts, and even invited us to dinner with her and the Governor on Friday!

The six operations went really well and the transformations were amazing.Towards the end of the day the team ran into a 75-year-old there with his wife at the hospital who had been living with Cleft Lip his whole life. After a quick introduction to what we were doing there, we asked if he was interested in the reconstructive surgery and he agreed. We’ll be performing tests to make sure he’s fit for surgery and if so, adding him to the patient list!

Look for photos of day 1 soon!


1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

$250 covers the cost of one life-changing surgery

150 volunteers annually will change a child’s life forever

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