Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

The last case

PHOTO by Anneke Paterson

Monday was a lon-n-n-ng day.  Because it was Monday and the first day of a mission in a new hospital, because the unexpected always pops up in these endeavors, whatever. At the end of the day, 14 children were seen in the OR for complicated, time-consuming procedures and given excellent pre- and post-surgical care. The staff had to endure long hours on their feet as well as delayed meals & bedtime. The patients and families however, waited not knowing exactly why it was taking so long, and not knowing exactly what would happen when their turn came around.  For the most part they waited stoically without uttering a single “What’s taking so long?? I’ve been waiting here for over 8 hours!”


Our staff returned to the hotel in staggered groups, some about 9:00, some around 10:30, others not until 1:00 a.m.  I heard Leilani stayed even later. And I never heard a discouraging word from any of them.  They know it’s part of the gig and they’re still happy to be here.

The last case was finished around 11:45 p.m. (a new Austin Smiles record?)  Her name is Rebecca and we think she is beautiful!

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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