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Restoring the Outcast in Bangalore

Greetings from Bangalore,

July marked 5 years since we moved to Bangalore. Looking back over this time, we are thankful for God’s constant faithfulness and provision for all our needs.

It was a long hot summer here, with temperatures rising from February until May. Bangalore has seen an increase in temperatures over recent years with increasing urbanisation and loss of green spaces. However, we should not complain too much, as the city still has a relatively comfortable climate with less humidity compared to other parts of India. Although the monsoon started early at the end of May, the rainfall has been insufficient so far and we continue to pray for more rain.

Surgical Updates

Here are some stories from recent patients. We continue to be thankful to those who have donated to the patient fund to make surgery possible for those who could not otherwise afford it.
(As usual, names have been changed and eyes covered for confidentiality)

Sannah is a 4 year old girl from Yemen who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip surgery is usually performed for young babies, before 6 months of age. Sannah’s family had been unable to access treatment in Yemen, due to the ongoing conflict and lack of resources within the country. She had a significant deformity of her upper lip and nose as well as speech problems due to the hole in her palate.

Sannah’s parents brought her to Bangalore Baptist Hospital where she underwent surgery to repair her cleft lip and nose deformity. She is currently doing well and awaiting a second surgery to repair her cleft palate soon. Following this, Sannah will require some speech therapy in her language, Arabic.

Radhika is a 17 year old young lady from Bangalore who was born with a flat nose. She had low self esteem after being teased by other children at school about her appearance.

 Surgery was performed using cartilage from her rib to reconstruct the bridge of her nose. Radhika is very happy with the result, has improved in confidence and is continuing with her college studies.

Hassan is a 12 year old boy from Yemen. He has a condition called neurofibromatosis – a benign, slow growing tumor affecting the right side of his skull and face. Due to this condition, the roof of his right eye socket was missing and this had resulted in the brain pushing into eye socket, causing eye to be pushed outwards. He was experiencing headaches and double vision.

3D printed model from CT scan of Hassan’s skull

As mentioned earlier, the already under-resourced healthcare system in Yemen has almost collapsed due to an ongoing devastating conflict within the country since March 2015. There are only 2 flights a month from Yemen to Bangalore. Hassan’s parents knew that the condition would get worse if he did not receive treatment but they had limited finances. They were relieved to know that help was available from the patient fund to make his treatment possible in India.

Hassan had 2 surgeries. In the first, a titanium mesh was molded into correct shape to separate the eye socket from the brain cavity. This very complex operation involves plastic surgeons and neurosurgeons working together to gain access to the base of the skull whilst protecting the delicate brain.

 

Following first surgery

In the 2nd operation, tumour tissue was removed from the right lower eyelid area. The eyelid was then reattached to the outside of the eye socket to provide good support for the eye. Hassan’s headaches have improved. Both he and his parents are happy with the result and will return to Yemen soon.

Following 2nd surgery
Vivienne has to complete the final dissertation research project for her Master’s in Public Health. This will involve using a questionnaire to ask new mothers about factors during early pregnancy which may be related to the risk of cleft lip and palate. The study is focusing particularly on the role of folic acid supplements.
At the end of June we had a quick weekend break on a small farm just outside Bangalore. It was good to get out of the city and into the countryside.
 We hope that you are enjoying your summer, monsoon or whichever season it is in your part of the world. As always, we appreciate the prayers, support and encouragement of friends and family.

Derick & Vivienne,

Samuel, Naomi and Becky

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