June 9, 2011 §
Today I met with 8 of our patients for follow up. Two of them were had cleft operation, others were with contractors and keloids.
All of them were very happy especially their parents. Vladik who had perianal keloids and has been operated for that was jumping all the time, he can seat and play. After dressing they went back to their home, which is near to Iranian boarder, In Meghri (8hours drive).
Alvina (girl with keloids on her face) smiled all the time and even had brought bunch of flowers for me. All of them were filled with gratitude to all of us who ran this project.
After that I met with Dr. Ara Minasyan. We had a little talk about this project and he is expecting to have you again soon. Till today I get new phone calls from different people, some of them have children with clefts. The patient parents were asking me to inform them about the next project availability so that their friend children would have opportunity for having surgery by you.
I think, soon I will need to meet with new patients and register into my list (if you prom is to come again soon!!!!!).
Dr. Minasyan and his team were happy with the results.
I went to the Health Ministry today and got the DVD of video report about plasticos and the project. They got also the copy of the report publish on “Iravunk” newspaper. The Health Minister, Mr. Kushkian is also expecting to have you back sometimes.
Plasticos Foundation was mentioned in the Armenian newspaper, "Iravunk"
The dressings have been done by one of the Traumatologist who assisted you during operations .
Dr. Vardan observed the patients with clefts.
After all I had meeting with my team members, Nellie and Dr. Artsrun to discuss the results during lunch time.
Hope you are fine and doing well!
June 4, 2011 §
Armenia, as all of our trips overseas, has been a wonderful, heart-warming and incredibly fulfilling experience, teeming with overwhelming kindness and caring by our staff and hosts alike.
Dr. Horowitz working with the Armenian medical team.
What is truly exciting about Armenia is the opportunity to establish a self sustaining program of plastic surgery care for children and indigent patients alike for Armenians by Armenian surgeons.
Team Armenia on the last day of surgery.
Armenia currently has a number of well trained board certified plastic surgeons with skills to treat these unfortunate children.
Furthermore there is a medical school and plastic surgery residency graduating 3 new plastic surgeons each year. Unfortunately, There is an overwhelming amount of patients for this limited number of surgeons. The existing facilities also need additional support with better and newer surgical equipment and facilities to provide care in a safe and consistent manner.
The OR at St. Grigor Medical Center
Not only have we had a rewarding week in the care and treatment of these needy children,but I believe we have made great strides to establishing a system in Armenia for the care of these patients that will serve as a model of care to be used in many other countries to improve their health care delivery.
Jed Horowitz, MD
Medical Team Leader
June 1, 2011 §
The number of children requiring surgical repair turned out to be so high that we started operating on the first day and did not stop until the last day of the mission. Although the workload was tremendous, the smiling and appreciative faces of children and parents were extremely rewarding. Furthermore, knowing that a procedure such as a burn contracture release enables a child to use her arm or fingers again was an immense boost of energy to me. I remember one particular child who always had a beaming smile and would roam the hallways snatching every opportunity to practice her knowledge of English language on me, which in her case solely included the word “hello”. Postoperatively, on my visit to the recovery room, I found her teary-eyed and in pain but she still managed to give me a smile and greeted me with her delightful “hello” immediately followed by her newly acquired vocabulary: “thank you”. Fortunately, I was able to find some torodol for her.
Mohamad Iravani, MD
June 1, 2011 §
About two weeks ago I met the Plasticos Foundation team, which came to Armenia to help children with different types of pathologies. What happened next was completely unexpected for me. I was absolutely amazed and fascinated with love and care which was in the eyes of each member of the team. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, all the members of the team had one goal only – to help our children. Laughter and the sound of children’s footsteps filled the corridors of our department. A language barrier was inevitable, but at the same time, a very strong emotional connection was established between our guests and patients as well as their parents. It was so wonderful and very funny in a good way to hear the question asked in English answered in Armenian… and everybody understood everything. Later everything became clear to me, it was very simple: we had one goal – children who needed to be given a happy and healthy childhood.
It is difficult to put into words the invaluable experience and knowledge I gained as a Maxilla-facial surgeon working and communicating with top professional surgeons such as Dr. Nichter, Dr. Horowitz, Dr. Burns and all, I mean ALL, members of the Plasticos team. I would like to say all the kind words of gratitude from the bottom of my heart for the patience and the trust they showed while teaching and guiding me to operate on cleft lip, cleft palate and more…
Today, when our friends are gone, the feeling of emptiness has overtaken us. And there is a desire to fill it again with children’s laughter and kind faces of our friends and colleagues from Plasticos Foundation.
Now that we’ve tried the “demo-version” I would like to say one thing: we want more and for longer…
Dr. Nichter, Dr. Burns, Dr. Hovakimyan
Vardan Hovakimyan, MD
Armenian Maxilla-Facial Surgeon