Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Guatemala Day Four

Guatemala Day Four

10/17/2017- Written by Susie Awalt; Photography by Ranjani Agrawal

Day 4 Surgeries and we have more life changing experiences to report. Dr. Patrick Kelley checks on Maria Julieta , 17 yrs., after her final surgery. She can now return home to pursue her dream of becoming a bilingual secretary.​

Vivian, 15 months, has already had her cleft lip operated on and is getting ready to go into the operating room for cleft palate surgery.​

Mary Fassnacht with 6 month old Erick and his Mother. He is scheduled for bilateral cleft lip surgery and ear tubes. His Mother is nervous about this, his first surgery, but wants us to know what a blessing Austin Smiles is for him.​

Erick is a beautiful, happy little boy.​

Here is Yesica with her Mother post op receiving speech therapy​ from Teri Mathis and Mary Mellencamp. The Mother Love in​ Guatemala is very intense. These Mother’s want the best for​ their children and will go to the end of the earth to seek ​treatment for them.​

Dr. Mary Zavala demonstrates how to operate the fiber optic ​
scope to speech therapists, Teri Mathis and Mary​ Mellencamp.​

Alexis with his Mother who is excited and happy. Dayana is the sweetest little girl and loves to be in pictures. We always have to show her how it looked.​

Our brilliant team of Surgeons: Dr. Mahlon Kerr, Dr. Courtney El-Zohm, Dr. David Wainwright, Dr. Lauren Crawford, Dr. Patrick Kelley, Dr. Rocco Piazza​.

Mary Mellencamp performing a speech assessment of Jeremy. ​

Dr. Mahlon Kerr performing a Furlow Palatoplasty, this is a sophisticated surgery involving geometry that aligns the​
muscle by creating triangular flaps that are stretched and sewn together. The patient is Kristal, sister of Jeremy. Both parents were here and they were very grateful. Both children have had numerous surgeries.

Executive Director Teresa Cox holding Erick. Assisted by Cindy Greenwood, Hayley Ruegg, & Ashley Chitty​

Lucy Cinclair comforting Dayana post op. Lucy had assured her she would be there when she woke up.​

Perla showing the medical team how to perform a patient​ assessment.​

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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Our local program support for children born with Cleft Lip and Palate in Texas

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