The NGO, OPERATION SMILE, conducts medical missions from time to time during which surgical operations are conducted on children suffering with cleft lips and palates.
Members of school-based OPERATION SMILE clubs often assist the surgeons at these missions. On October 8th, 9th and 10th 2011 an OPERATION SMILE mission was conducted at Aurangabad and students of RBKIA participated as representatives of the school’s newly-formed Operation Smile Club.
Apeksha Trivady of Grade 10 reports on her experience.
The Operation Smile, local mission in Aurangabad was my first mission. My friends, Mansi and Sagar, and I reached Aurangabad in the evening. After checking into the hotel, at dinner, we met everyone in the team. All of them were very welcoming and hospitable and they told us what our schedule would be for the upcoming days.
The next day was that of screening. When we reached the venue, we saw so many people waiting. Some of them had come the night before because they lived far away. I helped photograph the children’s clefts, take down medical records and went around to other stations like the anesthetists station, the dentists station etc.
We also played with the children, many of whom were shy and hesitant at first but eventually joined the fun. I got very attached to a little girl named Vaishnavi who was there for a reconstruction surgery, an amazing child -very naughty, but very sweet.
The next night, we helped put blood reports in the files of children, and that was when we saw the names of the children who were selected for surgery. I was relieved and happy to see Vaishnavi’s name on the list.
On the day of surgery we started off by playing with children using toys, hats and balls. It was there that I met another child - Manthan - who had a cleft palate. He was very sweet and he loved my camera- he kept clicking pictures with it.
I was thrilled when the doctors said that we could watch the surgery because I wanted to watch
Manthan’s surgery. I went in wearing a hospital gown and a mask and a cap and sat through the whole surgery. I don’t know what to say except that I am glad that I was there and I watched it.
We also sat through a sixteen year old girl’s surgery and held her hand. She was told to
keep her hand on the bed but she still reached out for our hand. We could not be present for Vaishnavi’s surgery as it was scheduled for the next day and we had to leave the same evening
So with a suitcase full of memories and a heart full of remorse due to our early departure, we set off for Mumbai with so much to tell to people back home.
|Ms. Radha Trivady, Kahan Bhankharia, Rachel Madhani, Samantha Fernandes and Apeksha Trivady went to Aurangabad to assist the surgeons at the Operation smile mission.|
|Team of doctors preparing for the surgery|
|Surgeon concentrating on their patient|
|Apeksha and Mobatshira|
|Apeksha with Kishan|
|Samantha with Musab Umair|
|Samantha with Mobatshira - hoping that Mobatshira will smile for her life time.|
|Kahan helping Vaishnavi to smile with confidence|
|RBKIA students - "Happy to help"|
|Rachel and Samantha with Jayesh who is going to be operated for his beautiful smile.|
|Apeksha with Manthan|