The Rotary Club of Wakefield recently sponsored a medical mission to the Philippines through Rotaplast International, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, CA. The club’s support allowed for 122 surgical procedures to be performed on patients in Cebu City, on a south central island in the Philippines. Medical treatments focused on surgically repairing cleft lips, cleft palates and dental work for patients aging three months to 35 years. Medical Director Evelyn Abad explained, “Often children and adults with these deformities are shunned by their community. We give them a second chance to smile.” The medical team consisted of eight non-medical volunteers from Rotary Clubs in the Greater Boston area as well as a team of surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses and Rotarians from California, Washington, Hawaii, and South Dakota. Among the non-medical volunteers were Wakefield Rotary Club’s own Amy Luckiewicz and her mother Susan Luckiewicz of Lynn.
Donating time, talent and treasury, Amy served as Medical Records Officer and Susan assisted in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for the two-week trip. Amy commented, “For me, it was a great experience to volunteer alongside my mother. Both of us had many times where we got emotional with the families and it was great to support one another.” With three operating tables in use, the team was able to complete 122 surgical procedures and over 300 dental procedures. All medical treatment was free of charge to patients and many travelled up to six hours to visit the hospital in the central part of Cebu City. The team was supported locally by Filipino volunteers from the Rotary Club of Cebu City Port Center. Wakefield Rotary Club President Bob Kimball added, “Our club works around the year to support Wakefield. It was important to us that we also help out our global community too.”
Rotaplast International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Working with local professionals, Rotarians, and other organizations, Rotaplast sends multidisciplinary medical teams to provide free reconstructive surgery, ancillary treatment, and training for the comprehensive care of these children and adults. Rotaplast supports education and research towards prevention of cleft lip and/or palate. Their aim is to help local professionals build sustainable models for the care of these patients. For more information on Rotaplast, a non-profit charity, visit www.rotaplast.org.