By JUNE S. BLANCO
HUNDREDS of patients with cleft lips, cleft palates and teeth problems can now freely smile without worry of being made fun of, teased or bullied, due to their facial deformities.
This after Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) invited anew the medical-surgical team of the Faces of Tomorrow (FOT) headed by its director, Dr. Brian Rubinstein, who will perform the corrective surgeries on these patients at the Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services or the Bohol Cooperative Hospital in Dampas District, this city.
Aumentado said the team members come from different states in America while the Abounding in Love Foundation is the non-profit organization that connects Filipino children to cleft lip and palate surgeries.
Abounding also provides ongoing medical, educational and spiritual support after surgery. All donations it gets go directly to help these disadvantaged children.
The surgeries will start on Monday, Feb. 12. But listing is now on-going until Sunday, Feb. 11.
As in the previous missions, patients will received not only the free surgeries, but, especially for those coming in from other provinces, they will also receive fare refunds and fare for the trip back, free board and lodging – and even toys for the children.
They had heard about Aumentado’s surgical medical through the news and public service announcements over the radio.
Patients staying over for post-surgery checkups or waiting for their turn at the operating table will be provided with free board and lodging.
Those coming in from the towns will get subsistence allowance for their meals. Those from towns out of radio coverage got alerted on the free surgical-dental mission from streamers, newspapers and social media.
FOT-Philippines coordinator Charina Torregosa-Asunto said they are now about finished with the paperwork and leg work for the permits and other requirements.
Abounding in Love Foundation will pay for the rooms, the materials, use of the surgical rooms, among others. This way, the patients and their watchers will just present themselves for screening and undergo surgery.
Many of the patients’ parents are expected again to be teary-eyed – most will even cry tears of joy – in appreciation for the surgery, the after-care and the gift of a brighter tomorrow that their children will receive.