Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Scenes from Surgery Days

Photography by Kris Kennedy



RNs Maria Flores (left) and Mayuri Patel tend to the latest princess, Mela Sangado Zaldivar.


In OR 2, RN Nicole Craven helps Dr. Syboney Zapata select the appropriate ear tube.


Nine-year-old Rigoberto Ardon Campos has fun with his father before lip surgery.


CRNA Tanja Abercrombie (left) and anesthesiologist Dr. Mary Zavala use an iPad to help relax a patient prior to surgery.


RN/scrub tech Tory Scott (right) and anesthesiologist Dr. Russell McAllister assist plastic surgeons Dr. Mahlon Kerr (far left) and Dr. Cameron Craven in OR 2.


Scrub tech Marissa Arras (left) and orthodontist Dr. Lindsay Schuster (right) assist craniofacial surgeons Dr. Ray Harshbarger and Dr. Sean Hill in OR 3 as CRNA Tanja Abercrombie monitors the anesthesia.


Edwin Chul Tepas rests in the recovery room while his guardian, Alfredo Chul Lue, sees him for the first time following the 12-year-old’s lip and palate repair. RNs Karri Martin (left) and Maria Flores share in the reunion.


Austin Smiles volunteer Curt Roberts visits a patient in the recovery room.


Husband-and-wife volunteer team Jennifer Skinner (administration) and Willis Skinner (logistics) share a rare moment of downtime in an otherwise busy day at Hospital Militar Central.


Physician assistant Margie Bivens (left) and RN Jan Johnson tend to a patient in one of the overnight rooms.


Following surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Mary Zavala speaks with a patient’s parents in the recovery room.


Dr. Ray Harshbarger speaks with Julio Ortiz Martinez prior to performing a LeFort I osteotomy on the 16-year-old.


Anesthesiologist Dr. Quint Barnes listens to the heart and lungs of a patient in triage prior to surgery.


CRNA Tanja Abercrombie is prepared for a procedure in OR 3.



In the triage room, 17-year-old Consuelo Ugarte interacts with Karina Vasquez Perez prior to the nine-month-old’s lip procedure and tympanostomy tube placement. Consuelo and her mother, Maria Montero, traveled from their home in Madrid, Spain, to serve as translators with Austin Smiles.


In triage, RN Katherine Tomeny (left) and volunteer Katie McFate entertain Karina while her mother, Reyna, looks on.


Dr. Mary Zavala (left) and RN Ashley Kerr visit a patient and her mother in the minutes before surgery.


Wearing her children-of-the-world surgical cap, Dr. Syboney Zapata is preparing instruments for a tympanostomy tube placement.


In OR 3, Dr. Sean Hill (left) and Dr. Ray Harshbarger team to perform a craniofacial procedure.


Dr. John Hatridge (center) is joined by fellow anesthesiologists Dr. Mary Zavala (right) and Dr. Keller Matthews in preparation for surgery.


Brotherly love…


In the recovery room, RN Mayuri Patel shares a moment with a patient and her mother.


In triage, RN Katherine Tomeny (left) and a Salvadoran volunteer visit a patient and his mom.


Gloria Matthews (left) and Mary Jane Parker share a moment during a busy day of sterilizing instruments for surgeries.


In the recovery room, RN Karri Martin soothes a patient.


A patient finds comfort in the arms of her mom.


Laundered surgical linens are drying in the Salvadoran sun.


Framed by the anesthesia machine on one side and a patient on the other, anesthesia team leader Dr. Keller Matthews prepares for a case.


On a table is one of many patient charts.


The hands of a surgeon…


Speech language pathologist Maria Metidieri visits a patient in an overnight room.


Anesthesiologist Dr. Russell McAllister and his daughter, anesthesia tech Lauren McAllister, assist on a case.


Dr. Syboney Zapata uses an operating microscope to perform a tube placement.



Following a tube placement, the boy will wake to new sounds.

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

Austin Smiles - local services Camp Amigo photo

Medical Mission Trips

Austin Smiles goes on 2-3 medical mission trips annually

Austin Smiles - local services spring picnic photo

Our Local Services

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

Austin Smiles - local services sponsor locally photo

Sponsor a Child

Make a difference for a child in need