I am a board-certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Southern California. This past weekend I had the privilege and joy of volunteering at Rady's Children Hospital in San Diego for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts.
I have been affiliated with Fresh Start since 2000. Fresh Start transforms the lives of disadvantaged children with physical deformities caused by birth, accidents, abuse or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery.
We had a complicated case! Our patient was a sweet 17-year-old girl who was born with left hemifacial microsomia (i.e. the left side of her face, and esp. her jaw, were completely undeveloped). She and her parents were so grateful for the surgery that they literally melted all of our hearts.
The goal for our surgery was to transplant a bone/cartilage graft from her rib to her left jaw.
As the anesthesiologist, it was a challenging case in terms of her abnormal airway anatomy and the fact that her jaw was wired shut at the end of the case. I had to be extremely careful with removing the breathing tube! But thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers (incl. plastic surgeons, oral surgeons and nurses), the surgery was a success.
I cannot say enough about Fresh Start and its contributions to the community. It is a great organization with great volunteers. To learn more, please visit www.freshstart.org.