A story of persistence, hope and celebration – Hermosillo 2017

Day Two in Hermosillo brought us 20 more beautiful children ready for surgery: Babies and toddlers needing cleft lip repair, several children in need of cleft palate repair, and four older kids who will undergo surgery to replace missing bone in their palate, using bone taken from the hip.

One of the many special patients is Blanca. Since birth, she has already undergone several surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and more. This year Blanca, now 14, is ready for rhinoplasty, a surgery that will correct the defects to her nose and sinuses. We all know about the dramatic change in appearance that comes from surgery to repair a cleft lip, but the additional surgeries are often critical to the child’s development, speech and self-esteem. A rhinoplasty is often the final surgery a cleft patient will need.

In many areas of the world resources may be severely limited for more complex surgical procedures, making this type of ongoing, and often more complicated, care impossible. This is where CSI steps in, partnering with St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic and Hospital CIMA Hermosillo, providing free surgical and medical care to children in great need.

In December, Blanca will have her Quinceañera, the Hispanic tradition of celebrating a young girl’s coming of age on her 15th birthday. It’s an incredibly special time for a girl, her family and friends. There is a special church service, receptions and parties, all to honor and celebrate this important turning point in a girl’s life.

Dr. Michael Fritz performed the successful rhinoplasty for Blanca, and the day after surgery she and her mother were all smiles. She is now at another turning point: the likely completion of all necessary surgeries, ready to get on with her life. We are so glad to have been a part of this process for this sweet girl. Feliz Quinceañera, Blanca!

View photos from the CSI surgical trip here.