Here is an article I wrote for The Spokesman-Review on the Guatemala trip, specifically about the oral surgeons and those from Spokane who contributed to the trip prior to departure: Oral surgeons, staff, bring smiles to Guatemalan children
Randy’s cries echoed through the pediatric center of the Guatemalan hospital.
The government-funded hospital is mostly outdoors, featuring cracked tiles and an abundance of dust. Randy’s mother carried him up the ramp toward the operating rooms.
The 10-month-old boy from Zacapa, Guatemala, has a cleft lip and palate. He screams and flails as his mother passes him off to a nurse who will ready him for surgery. Minutes later, Randy is lying on a hospital bed inside the operating room with his eyes shut. The sharp and monotonous sound of the heart rate monitor is drowned out by Irish music playing from a portable iHome.
Poised above Randy is oral surgeon Mark Paxton, of Spokane Valley, who will be performing Randy’s surgery. Paxton is a volunteer surgeon who has been doing cleft lip and palate surgeries in Guatemala with Hearts in Motion, a nonprofit based out of Indiana, for the past 20 years.
“I enjoy doing cleft lip and palate surgery because it’s one of the most rewarding types of surgery that I do,” Paxton said. “Fixing cleft lip and palate allows individuals to drink and eat normally, talk normally and look normal. It can make a huge change in someone’s life.” [Read More...]