“Changing the World, One Smile at a Time” by Stephanie Otten, RN
Stephanie Otten, R.N., a nurse in our Emergency Department, also volunteers with Operation Smile, an organization that provides surgical assistance for children with cleft lips and cleft palates all around the world. She recently left for Jamshedpur, India and has been sending updates from the field as she is able. Her latest communication is below:
“After an extensive amount of traveling by planes, trains and rickshaws…I have safely made it to Jamshedpur, India. I have teamed up with a talented group of people from ten different countries, all with a passion for helping those in need.
“Approximately 110 patients have been successfully screened for cleft lip/cleft palate repair and tomorrow we dive in to Day One of our surgery week. As you may expect, things here in India are very different from home. Working conditions have been a bit of a challenge. Our screening area was essentially tents outside in the 102 degree humid environment. Along with language barriers, losses of cargo in transit, and being in a completely foreign environment, we have definitely have had some bumps in the road. But we have all pulled together in the spirit of the mission and are moving forward.
Even though it seems that it has already been a long journey, our adventure has only just begun. After long hours and lots of hard work we will embrace the outcomes one smile at a time. Looking forward to keeping you posted…stay tuned.”