First Surgery Day Completed – Mexico 2018

On our first day of surgery, the team completed 20 life-changing surgeries for patients age 2 months to 17 years. The surgeries that were required, the children’s overall health and their family situations may vary, but some things remain constant — like the love, the worry and the hope for a successful outcome.


Today we had a special visit from a former CSI patient, Daniella, who “graduated” from the cleft program after her palate repair in 2016. Daniella arrived with a big smile and a gift for longtime nurse anesthetist volunteer Jim Ducharme. Jim and Daniella hugged and exchanged handmade gifts. Daniella has decided to become a doctor when she grows up, in part because of the wonderful care she received from CSI volunteers, and she wanted to say thank you to Jim, CSI, CIMA Hermosillo and St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic. She and her parents are grateful that she can move forward and pursue her dreams, The sky’s the limit, Daniella! 

Eight-year-old Estrella and her family heard about CSI and traveled one hour through unseasonably wet and cold weather by motorcycle with hopes that they could get help for her cleft palate. Estrella and her family were so tired and scared today. The family lives in a tent in rural Sonora state, and we learned that they have had their fair share of health problems and family tragedy. The CSI cleft team evaluated her and was able to add her to our already busy schedule. We can offer a surgery that we hope will bring joy and happiness, replacing at least some of their fear and anxiety. They are brave to risk so much and to entrust us with Estrella’s care. We won’t let them them down.

For more photos click here.