Medical Mission Matters Volunteers Performing Surgery. File Photo
Medical Mission Matters Volunteers Performing Surgery. File Photo

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, April 20-A team from the Medical Mission Matters (MMM) has been conducting free operation for congenital deformity patients at the provincial hospital in this city.

The ongoing activity, which runs for almost two weeks that started on April 16, was perceived by a Filipina-married American Ron Woods as an activity that will transform lives of those young victims who were affected by genetic affliction.

Also included in the team are Dr. Richard Cabotage, plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist and Dr. Hedwig Reyeg of St. Lukes Medical Center. The group targets 10 to 14 operations daily, or a total of 104 patients. Woods emphasized the need to treat these children since those suffering from cleft lip and palate are common victims of bullying.

“The transformation of their facial features after the process of healing has taken place,” he explained. “I have given them hope for their future as well as improving their self-esteem.” Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado who was at the Dungon National High School where the young patients were billeted said that the total cost of surgery ranges from Php60,000 to Php80,000 per patient. However, Woods pointed that “one cannot put a price to any kind of help offered to the poor…
There’s no price for helping the poor.”

Mariza Saramusing, MMM’s overall coordinator from Iloilo City, founded by American Larry Mally informed that cleft lips patients will only have to stay 24 hours at the hospital after operation for observation.While those who were operated on for cleft palates will have to stay for 48 hours or two days and can be discharged.

Cherry Sombrio Woods, MMM Southern Leyte area coordinator also said that after three to four months, some of the MMM members together with Cabotage and Reyeg will return to Maasin for the second phase surgery for the cleft palate victims. She explained that the double defects with cleft lips and cleft palates cannot be operated on simultaneously because it’s hard for the children to bear it and is a medical policy, even for adult patients.

Mercado for his part, expressed gratitude to all the 15 MMM members who chose the Southern Leyte provinces as the beneficiaries of this medical mission. Other children with similar affliction who came late, but have passed the screening test was scheduled for the second batch surgery, said Jona Mae Mula, MMM national coordinator.

Larry Mally founded the organization to help children from poor families of the Philippines receive cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. The organization has performed more than 1,800 surgeries over the last 6 years. (PNA) FPV/SQM/QUIRICO M. GORPIDO JR.