Posted on: 04/28/2016

Author: Kampman, Marybeth

Although it does not seem possible today is the last day for surgery. By the end of the day the team will have done eighty five surgical procedures. which translates into eighty five lives which have been transformed. 


Today I met 23 month old Josué and his mother. They had traveled to the Obras because Josué was born with a  condition called Syndactyly which means that he was born with two of his fingers fused together. When I came into the pre-op room everyone was smiling because they were watching Josué very happily playing with legos on his bed. It was amazing how contagious his smile was to the rest of the team. It even spread to the anxious patients who were waiting for their surgeries providing a welcome distraction.


Shortly he was carried away to the operating room. I decided to watch the procedure. It was amazing to watch the miraculous transformation of the boy’s hand. Dr. Wittpenn took a small skin graft from Josué stomach and used it to rebuild the two fingers. Then Josué returned to post-op where mother and child were soon rejoined.


His mother was overjoyed to be reunited with her small son. She held him in her arms and smiled broadly through tears of joy. Both of Josué's arms were bandaged tightly. His left arm was in a cast to protect the new surgical procedure and his right arm was bandaged to the elbow so that he could not pull out the IV that was in his arm. One of the first things his mother did was move the blankets away, looking for the scar from the skin graft. She looked relieved to see that is was only a small incision. She then looked down at his bandaged arms with a somewhat quizzical look. 


I realized that the bandages would not be removed for a while and that she was very curious to see the results of the surgery. Since I had photographed during the surgery I approached her with the post-op photo showing the Josué’s fingers separated. I was rewarded with a smile filled with relief and gratitude.  


Once again it was apparent the immense depth of the of trust and faith the patients have in God and  in the FIP team. The surgical team had transformed her son’s life and in turn, she and her son had filled our lives with their love, faith and trust.


To see photos that go with this blog go to