My name is Jackie Toomey and I am a part of “outreach” for the 2012 Mending Faces mission trip to San Jose, Antique in the Philippines. Today was the second and first full day of the mission trip. I spent most of my day helping screen different patients for the group. It was a wonderful experience to see all of these amazing and beautiful children that are in need of this life changing operation. Almost all of the people I saw through administration did not speak much English but they were both happy to be there and concerned for their child or grandchild. I was really amazed by the number of people that came to see the group today. As I understand it, last year’s mission did not have as many patients as they would have liked so this year was really exciting because there were over 100 patients that showed up; including two sets of twins! At the end of the day it was very rewarding to hear that that we were able to sign up around 90 patients for surgery.
One part of my day that was particularly memorable for me was this 2-year-old boy by the name of Quin. Quin had a bilateral cleft lip repair a while back but still had a large cleft in his palate. Before this case I did not know that most children only receive the lip repair or the cleft repair. This is both because of the recovery time and also how time consuming it is to perform those procedures in tandem. This goes to show just how precious our time is here. The next few days are going to be packed but it is wonderful to know that we are making a difference in each life we touch.
Quinn was not too thrilled with the whole process.