In March 2015, a ConnectMed team held a successful clinic, evaluating over 20 patients of all ages with a variety of medical issues. On June 27, 2015, we had our first surgical “jornada”, during which we evaluated and surgically addressed the needs of seven patients. We have planned another day for follow-ups and additional surgeries on October 3, 2015.
One of our first patients we met in Tecate is Jorge. Jorge had already received several surgeries to repair his cleft lip and palate, but recovery from the second surgery was not supervised properly and his cleft split, scarring improperly and causing speech impediments. In addition to his appearance and quality of life, Jorge and his family sought surgical intervention because his cleft deformity resulted in breathing difficulties. With very limited economic resources, his family was not able to provide him with the surgical and medical care he needed. He has suffered for much of his life from depression as a result of being bullied and feeling different. Sometimes, his mother told us, he wouldn’t leave the house or do any schoolwork. In particularly dark moments, he became so depressed that he felt his life was not worth living. He is receiving psychological counseling sponsored by the Hospital Infantil, and is a good candidate for speech therapy as well. These therapies, in addition to the physical changes resulting from the septal deviation and lip revision performed on April 18th, will hopefully improve his outlook over the upcoming years.